Coastal Guardian Watchmen Release Shared Plan for the Future of Coastal Stewardship
Coastal Guardian Watchmen play a critical role in monitoring and safeguarding the lands and waters that coastal First Nations have stewarded for millennia. Supported by Coastal First Nations’ (CFN) Coastal Stewardship Network, Guardian Watchmen are guided by the goals, objectives, and priorities of their respective Nations in serving as frontline environmental stewards of their territories.
On August 27, Coastal First Nations announced a new Guardian Watchmen Strategic Plan, released in July 2020, that outlines the shared goals and objectives of CFN Guardian programs and presents eight Strategic Priorities to sustain and enhance their work into the future.
A CFN media release explains that the new Strategic Plan is the result of thorough, in-depth conversations and planning between CFN member Nations’ stewardship leaders, and “aims to strengthen unity and provide a clear pathway for achieving stewardship goals. The priorities are designed to allow each Nation’s Guardian program to develop its own unique strengths individually, while also developing collectively as part of a regional network.”
Mike Reid, Aquatics Manager with the Haíɫzaqv (Heiltsuk) Nation says that, “with the Guardians’ workload and expectations increasing, we recognized the need for strategic actions with respect to collective support, capacity building and governance to provide focus for these programs going forward.”
The new Strategic Plan outlines eight strategic priorities for Coastal Guardian Watchmen into the future—from environmental monitoring to professional development and funding, and more—charting a way forward to fully realizing the Coastal Guardian Watchmen Vision and towards attaining their ultimate goal: “that First Nations along the North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii will continue to assert their rights and authority, and steward and manage their ancestral territories.”
One objective of the Guardian Watchmen Strategic Plan is to secure long-term funding and build own-source revenue to support the Watchmen operations. Given Coast Funds’ own focus on increasing First Nations’ access to self-determined stewardship finance, we are pleased to work in partnership with Coastal First Nations in achieving this shared goal.
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