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Guardian Watchmen Vision
Members of the Coastal Guardian Watchmen Network came together to describe their collective vision for community-based Guardian Watchmen programs and activities.
As First Nations we govern our ancestral traditional territories and safeguard the health of our ecosystems. We are the Guardians and Watchmen of our territories. We are men and women carrying forward the work of our ancestors to manage and respect our lands and waters through our traditional laws to ensure a vibrant future for generations to come. We work with our neighbouring Nations to create a united and collective presence within our territories. From the Central Coast to the North Coast and Haida Gwaii, we are working together to monitor, protect and restore the cultural and natural resources in our territories.
As the Guardian and Watchmen of our ancestral traditional territories we will steward our marine and terrestrial natural and cultural resources to ensure that they are sustainably managed. As the Guardian and Watchmen of our ancestral traditional territories we will steward our marine and terrestrial natural and cultural resources to ensure that they are sustainably managed. To this effect:
- We will monitor commercial and recreational activities on the North and Central Coast;
- We will gather data on the ecological health and wellbeing of our ancestral traditional territories;
- We will compile and share data that we gather in order to inform decision-making in our ancestral traditional territories;
- We will have the authority to carry out compliance and enforcement;
- We will have a strong presence throughout our territories so that resource users regularly encounter and interact with us;
- We will have access to secure funding to support ongoing year-round Guardian/Watchmen programs in our communities;
- We will play an active role in community outreach and education regarding the protection of our cultural and natural resources; and
- We will work with the federal and provincial government (through management agreements that respect the title and rights of First Nations) to ensure coordinated and robust monitoring and enforcement throughout our territories.
We derive our authority and jurisdiction from our traditional laws to manage and safeguard the lands and waters of our territories for the health of future generations.