In 2019 BC Metis Federation began a five-year agreement with the Canadian Coast Guard (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) on the ‘Co-Developing Community Response’ project.
The ‘Co-Developing Community Response’ project addresses Indigenous concerns surrounding risks associated with project-related tanker traffic to marine activities and the environment. Through this initiative, the Government of Canada and Indigenous groups, such as the BC Métis Federation, co-develop capacity at a community level to support meaningful roles for Indigenous groups in the marine response system. As part of this initiative, the Canadian Coast Guard identifies information, tools and services with the objective of improving information sharing with coastal Indigenous groups.
There are two main goals of the project:
- To empower Indigenous groups such as BC Métis Federation with the knowledge, personnel, and training to protect culturally important sites.
- Mitigate risks that are posed by project-related tanker traffic and define a clear role for Indigenous groups in the broader marine response system.
In Addition to the ‘Co-Developing Community Response’ project, BC Metis Federation has begun work on a new project, The Aquatic Habitat Restoration Fund.
The ‘Aquatic Habitat Restoration Fund’ is currently in its first year of a two-year agreement with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The main areas of focus for the project are:
- To build capacity within Indigenous communities to enable habitat restoration in areas of priority to Indigenous groups.
- To rehabilitate aquatic habitats and contribute to the mitigation of stressors affecting marine, coastal, and freshwater species and their habitats.
- To contribute to the long-term sustainability of aquatic and coastal habitats through monitoring and maintenance.
- To contribute to strategic planning and studies in coastal areas.
The Coastal Water Protectors was officially created in early 2021 and consisted of eight members. Now in its second year, it has doubled in size and spans all across the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. The team consists of BC Metis Federation members with one main passion in common, Coastal Conservation.
Earl Belcourt – Cobble Hill, BC
Kimberley Campbell – Nanoose Bay, BC
Brad Giroux – Nanaimo, BC
Constance Louie – Duncan, BC
Catherine Sine – Black Creek, BC
Gary Besse – Black Creek, BC
Angel Fisher – Surrey, BC
Kassandra Sison – Burnaby, BC
Tania Carriere – Richmond, BC
Earl Storey – Abbotsford, BC
Claire Desjarlais – North Vancouver, BC
Vanessa Prescott – Vancouver, BC
Zia Yazdani – Burnaby, BC
Tanya Mellish – Surrey, BC
Tracy Ragazzi – North Vancouver, BC
Nick Desjarlais – North Vancouver, BC