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- Guardian Watchmen Programs
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The Wuikinuxv people are, and always have been connected to the lands and waters in our territory. The Wuikinuxv have established a community-based Wuikinuxv Guardian Watchmen program, with dedicated staff and resources to be the “eyes and the ears” of the territory. They will help monitor and protect important cultural and ecological resources that are critical to the health and wellbeing of the Wuikinuxv people. The Wuikinuxv Guardian Watchmen program builds on and strengthens the work currently undertaken by staff in the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy program, land use planning, and marine use planning.
The long-term vision for the Wuikinuxv Guardian Watchmen program is to:
- Help monitor, protect and maintain healthy ecosystems that support the ecological and cultural resources that are required to meet the food, social, cultural and economic needs of our community members on and off reserve
- Have the capacity to monitor resource activities that impact important cultural and ecological values and the authority to control these activities.
- Gather relevant information to inform planning and decision-making.
- Have a respected and recognizable presence throughout the territory
- Have strong and collaborative relationships with resource users and the resource management agencies active in the area.
- Have a community that respects, supports, and participates in the program.
- Work together with neighbouring First Nations to ensure that all First Nations on the coast have the authority and power needed to ensure the long-term health of our territories and communities for generations to come.
- Establish strong communication protocol to alert proper authorities of impacts and to further assist in the cleanup and solutions to rectify the issues.
- Build supportive relationships specifically with the resorts and lodges to help protect the resources and land and marine use areas.
- Recruit and train other Guardian Watchman annually to build a strong team network and build capacity within the Guardian Watchman program, especially for our youth.
- Develop long term career and job opportunities.
- Build skills and gain experience to efficiently and effectively manage the program.
What are we monitoring?:
- Food, social and ceremonial fisheries
- Conducting creek walks in salmon-bearing streams
- Oolichan counts
- Herring spawn
- Sports fishers
- Transient fishers and tourists
- High use recreation areas (kayaking, camping, rafting)
- Potential hazards on land and marine: oil spills, fires, pollution, misuse
- Marine life: whales, porpoises, sharks, Humboldt squid
- Crab traps, prawn traps, poachers:
- Abalone, eulachons, bears, deer, shellfish
Relevant documents and websites: