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Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk: Fourth–year Projects (2007–2008)

Atlantic Region 2007–2008

Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq Species at Risk Coordinator

The Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq (CMM) wishes to develop species at risk (SAR)–related capacity within its member communities and to explore and develop a program to ensure more First Nations involvement in SAR activities. CMM is proposing to complete a pilot project with respect to a SAR coordinator position. The intention of the project would be to develop a SAR program for the CMM membership which could be used by other First Nation organizations, explore listing options, and develop a socio–economic impact process.

Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq (CMM)

L’nu of L’stikuk Recovering Migijigig and Mtesgmug of Kespukwitk

This project is intended to engage the Bear River First Nation community in practical species at risk (SAR) recovery and monitoring actions. Two young community members will be hired to work full time for four months to assist university researchers in live–trapping, radio–tracking, and conducting micro– and macro–habitat surveys of Blanding’s Turtles and Eastern Ribbonsnakes. A SAR field technician will also be hired to lead a community–driven monitoring program for several SAR.

Bear River First Nation – L'sitkuk Enviro Centre

Sex Ratios, Age Composition and Relationship between Habitat and Sex of American Eel in Selected Newfoundland Water Systems

This research will contribute greatly to the understanding of American Eel in Newfoundland and add to the recovery of the eel in Canada as a whole. The Canadian Eel Working Group is currently developing a management plan for the recovery of the American Eel in Canada. The data collected from this research may be used to develop tools to better manage and monitor the American Eel in Newfoundland.

Mi'kmaq Alsumk Mowimsikik Koqoey Association (MAMKA)

Native Council of Prince Edward Island – Reconnecting and Educating Aboriginals about Critical Habitat (R.E.A.C.H.) Workshop

The Native Council of Prince Edward Island’s Reconnecting and Educating Aboriginals about Critical Habitat (R.E.A.C.H.) workshop is designed to provide a forum for open dialogue and discussion about the critical habitat issues experienced by Prince Edward Islands’ wildlife species at risk. Species that will be discussed include Piping Plover, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Gulf of St. Lawrence Aster, Monarch Butterfly, and American Eel. The workshop format will include an appropriate mixture of interactive exercises, guest speaker presentations, and open forum dialogue to engage the participants.

Native Council of Prince Edward Island

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Quebec Region 2007–2008

Develop Our Community’s Ability to Protect Our Species at Risk and Their Future Habitats

Kahnawake hosts some of the last remaining natural and non–fragmented wetland, forest, field, stream and shoreline habitat in our region, where numerous species at risk find refuge. However, our community is developing at an alarming rate and we must be pro–active in raising awareness about the ecological richness of our territory and developing collaborative protection plans for our species at risk (SAR). As such, the main activities of our project for 2007–2008 include the following:

  • SAR training for conservation officers and community members
  • SAR youth summer camp
  • SAR school workshops
  • Organizing a winter bird count with local birders
  • Summer student education projects on SAR and related traditional knowledge
  • Construction of a SAR bulletin board in front of the KEPO
  • Development of 12 SAR posters for bulletin board and distribution in community
  • Development of a seasonal SAR newsletter
  • Land–use and land–ownership mapping and associated training for KEPO
  • Community presentations on SAR, a web site and media updates

Kahnawake Environment Protection Office (KEPO)

Communication and Capacity–building Activities for the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute (FNQLSDI) on Species at Risk

The project targets capacity building for the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute (FNQLSDI) in the areas of governance, conservation, protection and recovery of species at risk. The main activities are improvement of the information kit intended for First Nations; production and distribution of information and fact sheets; ensuring liaison among members; organizing a workshop; and producing a calendar on species at risk for Quebec First Nations.

First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute

Sampling Program of Nunavik Beluga Harvest

Given the importance of beluga harvesting to the subsistence diet and culture of Nunavik Inuit, it is critical that, as principal stakeholders, they be directly involved in decision making related to research and management initiatives on Beluga Whales. Inuit representatives have so far participated in the development of a Beluga Recovery Plan. As individual hunters, they can also take part in collecting and providing harvest statistics and tissue samples for the purposes of DNA analysis to support management decisions pertaining to beluga harvesting areas and times.

Makivik Corporation

Study on the Possible Presence of the Eastern Wolf on Timiskaming First Nation Territory

Using DNA tests, this project is intended to validate the presence of the Eastern Wolf in Témiscamingue and to gather scientific and traditional knowledge on the wolf species present on the territory. The Quebec Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la faune (MRNF) will provide the tools to standardize the gathering of information in the field. In addition, the MRNF has agreed to carry out DNA tests on a certain number of wolf carcasses to determine more precisely whether the Eastern Wolf is present on the community’s territory. Algonquin trappers and the Association des trappeurs du Témiscamingue (Témiscamingue Trappers Association – non–Aboriginal) are collaborating in the recovery of carcasses.

Timiskaming First Nation

Sensitizing the Cree Nation to the Protection of Birds of Prey at Risk in Quebec (Phase 3)

The first phase of the project, carried out by the Cree Trappers Association, involved developing an outreach kit intended to sensitize the members of the Cree Nation to the protection of at–risk species of birds of prey. The project’s first two phases (2007–2008 and 2008–2009) prepared the groundwork for this third phase, which involves the presentation and integration of the material into an academic component on at–risk birds of prey to the Cree School Board for 2008–2009. To this end, the whole outreach kit will be adapted for Cree students in 2007.

Cree Trappers Association

Development of a Work Plan to Define a Collaborative Effort among Aboriginal Groups and Euro–Canadian Scientific Community on Knowledge and Recovery of Wolverines

Wolverines are important to the traditions and mythology of the Naskapi people. However, there have been no documented sightings of wolverines in Kawawachikamach territory since the 1970s.

Development of the work plan will involve the following main activities: doing background research and holding discussions with potential partners in the Aboriginal and Euro–Canadian scientific communities in Eastern and Western Canada; seeking funding sources for work plan implementation; developing a Naskapi organizational structure and determining detailed logistics and budget for work plan implementation.

The project presupposes that the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach will play a lead organizational role in the implementation of the work plan, which is targeted for the 2008–2009 fiscal year.

Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach

Awareness–building Workshops on Marine Species at Risk in the St. Lawrence

The Agence Mamu Innu Kaikusseht (AMIK)--meaning, Together, Aboriginal fishers in Innu--is seeking to develop awareness–building and educational workshops in the nine Innu communities in Quebec. Its activities are aimed at two groups: students and Aboriginal fishers. Students will attend a workshop on at–risk marine mammals and threats to their survival. For fishers, workshops will focus on data collection on accidental catches of at–risk marine mammals and provide advice on the handling and releasing of such bycatches.

Agence Mamu Innu Kaikusseht (AMIK)

Capacity Building in Kitigan Zibi Community

Through various projects, including workshops in schools and scientific analysis of the data, we will not only be building capacity at the natural resource–team level, but also at the community level.

This project aims to enhance the following elements:

  1. Develop a reputation as specialists on the species targeted by previous projects
  2. Strengthen team capacity to analyze and present our findings (at conferences)
  3. Locate new funding sources
  4. Increase knowledge of the Species at Risk Act within the community, especially among the youth

Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg

Creation of Interpretative Panels on the Theme of Species at Risk by Students from the Gesgapegiag Community

The project is aimed at students in the Gesgapegiag community. It includes training activities on the status and issue of species at risk. Students will be invited to take part in a competition to develop design concepts for interpretative panels on species at risk in the Baldwin Township territory and the Lake Sainte–Anne area. A committee made up of band council members and professionals from PESCA Environnement will select two proposals from among those submitted. The winning designs will then be reproduced and installed in the Galgoasiet community building. The project attaches great importance to awareness–building among young people and all the members of the community about the situation of species at risk.

Gesgapegiag Micmac Band Council

Targeted Inventories and Habitat Assessments for the Protection of Species at Risk in Kahnawake

Kahnawake hosts some of the last remaining natural and non–fragmented wetland, forest, field, stream and shoreline habitat in our region, where numerous species at risk find refuge. However, our community is developing at an alarming rate and we must be pro–active in expanding our understanding of the ecological richness of our territory and develop collaborative protection plans for our species at risk (SAR). As such, the main activities of our project include the following:

  • Inventory of reptile and amphibian species at risk likely to be found in Kahnawake
  • Activities related to birds at risk confirmed in Kahnawake, including implementation of Least Bittern Recovery Team recommendations
  • Activities related to plants at risk confirmed in Kahnawake, including implementation of Butternut Recovery Team recommendations
  • Detailed assessment of wetland habitat in Kahnawake and development of wetland conservation strategy for important habitats hosting species at risk
  • Hiring of two summer students to participate in SAR fieldwork and educational activities
  • Detailed project report and maps.

Also, in parallel with the project, we will carry out extensive education, presentations and meetings on SAR with youth, decision–makers, land–holders and community members in general with the goal of developing collaborative protection plans for SAR in Kahnawake.

Kahnawake Environment Protection Office (KEPO)

Development of a Conservation Plan for the Population of the Anticosti Aster (Symphyotrichum anticostense) on the Mashteuiatsh Territory

The Lac–Saint–Jean Montagnais Council wishes to draw up a conservation plan defining all the activities and response strategies that will ensure the maintenance of the Anticosti Aster in its habitat on the community’s lands. To this end, the Montagnais Council will meet with landowners to agree on preliminary remediation or mitigation measures and to prepare a draft plan for the Anticosti Aster that includes the following elements: its general distribution, location of habitat area, species biology, habitat characteristics, limiting factors, current population status, land tenure and use, current and potential threats, an action plan and monitoring activities.

Montagnais Council of Lac–Saint–Jean

Kanesatake Plant Species at Risk Identification and Protection Project

The project proposes the following activities:

  1. Hire professionals to conduct an initial survey of plant species at risk and offer training on plant identification and surveying;
  2. Prepare informational material;
  3. Identify land where American Ginseng and Wild Onion could potentially grow and eventually plant specimens in the controlled area for protection purposes only;
  4. Provide information for teachers to include in their course curriculum;
  5. Propose a special project to schools to germinate and plant Butternut trees.

Mohawk Council of Kanesatake

Turtle Inventory and Habitat Improvement on the Territory of the Odanak Abenaki First Nation

The project’s broad objective is to carry out a turtle survey in two marshes on the banks of the Saint–François River to examine the habitat and make any necessary improvements. Other activities, such as clearing migration pathways between the river and the marshes, restoring nesting sites and preparing outreach activities for the population, will also be undertaken. The project will also survey the territory of Odanak for rare plant species and provide an assessment of the conservation issues.

Odanak Band Council

Recovery of Val–d’Or Woodland Caribou Herd (Phase 1)

The project is aimed at the recovery of the Val–d’Or Woodland Caribou herd. Planned activities include the production and distribution of 500 copies of a pamphlet to Aboriginal and non–Aboriginal hunters in the area, development of a predator control strategy for wolves and bears in cooperation with Algonquin trappers, and an agreement with the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune to undertake genetic analyses of wolf carcasses to check for the presence of the Eastern Wolf. Other activities include the harmonization of forestry practices for the territory used by the caribou and located outside the protected area of Sabourin Lake, the development of a work plan for the creation of a Sabourin Lake Protected Area Management Committee, and participation in the recovery plan until 2011.

Anicinapek Council of Kitcisakik

Characterization and Protection of Lake Sturgeon Habitat and Survey of Wood Turtle and Butternut Tree in the Riparian Zone of the Study Area

The three species at risk first targeted in our 2006 AFSAR project will continue to be the subject of our work. For the Lake Sturgeon, we will continue radio–tracking the 13 fish tagged in 2006. We also plan to catch and tag 7 additional mature sturgeon (to reach our objective of 20 fish) and track them for a period of 52 weeks to determine their habitat use of the Desert and Eagle rivers. Telemetric techniques will be used to characterize habitat quality and distribution for the establishment of adequate protection measures. Throughout, abiotic factors (variations in water condition, depth, current speed and substrate type) and anthropogenic use (canoeing, fishing) will continue to be monitored. The project will be followed by a conservation plan (not this year).

For the Wood Turtle, we plan to conclude the survey on the remaining land along the Desert River up to Maniwaki. We will also conduct nighttime boat patrols during the nesting period to prevent poaching. During these night watches, we will also locate nesting sites and place protective mesh boxes over them to avoid nest predation (mostly by raccoons, ravens, Striped Skunks).

For the Butternut, we plan to continue the initial survey completed in our 2006 SARA project. The survey will be continued along the riparian areas of the Eagle, Desert and Gatineau rivers to determine location, height, diameter at breast height, prevalence of butternut canker, and percentage of crown dieback (overall health of the tree). The locations of each Butternut will be recorded by a geographic positioning system (GPS), mapped and individually marked.

Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg

Protection Plan for the Gaspésie Woodland Caribou Habitat and Species at Risk in Baldwin Township and the Lake Sainte–Anne Area

Developed by the Gesgapegiag community, this project includes data collection and observation activities intended primarily to document the presence of potential habitats for the Gaspé caribou population in Baldwin Township territory and in the Lake Sainte–Anne area. The information will be used to define the territory and habitats that should be protected so as to promote the recovery of the caribou and other species at risk. The project is also intended to document feeding strategies and use of space by the caribou and their predators. The data collected will serve to define the territory and habitats that should be protected to promote the recovery of the species. A major focus of the project is to develop competency in the field of environmental sciences among young people.

Gesgapegiag Micmac Band Council

Collection of Traditional Aboriginal Knowledge on Marine Mammals, Fish and Marine Turtles at Risk in the St. Lawrence

Under this project, the Agence Mamu Innu Kaikusseht AMIK) plans to tour 11 Aboriginal communities grouped into three distinct nations on the shores of the St. Lawrence estuary and gulf. The objective is to conduct a series of interviews to gather traditional Aboriginal knowledge on certain at–risk species of marine mammals, fish and chelonians. This will be done with respect for the communities’ cultures and traditional knowledge, and based on past experience. Upon completion of the tour, the collected data will be collated and organized for use in measures for the conservation of target species and their habitats. To this end, AMIK is joining the Réseau d’observation de mammifères marins to benefit from their significant expertise in the target species and ensure success.

Agence Mamu Innu Kaikusseht (AMIK)

Telemetric Monitoring of Woodland Caribou, Boreal Population at Nitassinan, Innu First Nation of Essipit

The project involves tracking and capturing caribou already fitted with GPS collars to recover the recorded data and to change the collar batteries. The data will be analyzed and serve as baseline data for the development of a woodland caribou management plan in Nitassinan, the territory of the Innu First Nation of Essipit. To this end, the Innu Council of Essipit will cooperate with the Quebec Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune as part of a three–year agreement. The Council also wishes to develop the necessary expertise to carry out the tracking and tagging activities safely and effectively.

Innu Council of Essipit

American Eel Situation in the Betsiamites River Basin

The project comprises five main activities: development of the eel survey plan and organization of related activities; construction and installation of fishing gear; eel survey through experimental fishing in various habitat types and main tributaries downstream of the Bersimis generating station; results analysis; and the drafting of a report identifying various response options for the protection of the species. The results will be presented to river users to raise awareness of the resource and its habitats and the importance of protecting it.

Société de restauration du saumon de la rivière Betsiamites

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Ontario Region 2007–2008

Kettle Point Species At Risk

This project will assist the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point in preparing to assess the species at risk on their territory and to identify ways and means of protecting these species while advancing the First Nation in business and industry. Management of lands and resources is of primary concern.

Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation

The Toronto Zoo and First Nations Ways of Knowing Partnership

This project will raise awareness of the turtle, which is one of the oldest symbols of the Nishnaabek and Haudenosaunee. By celebrating teachings such as Turtle Island creation stories, Turtle Clan, and 13–moons, this First Nations (FN) community partnership focuses on traditional knowledge (TK), language skills, fostering youth–elder mentoring, community presentations, empowering First Nation communities and youth in the turtle species at risk stewardship and monitoring programs and to increase awareness of First Nations culture among non–Aboriginals (as requested by First Nation advisors and partners).

Toronto Zoo

Turtle Critical Habitat Study

This project will examine the important habitat of the Blanding’s Turtle by radio tracking it throughout the year to study its demography, reproductive ecology and seasonal activity, and to identify its important habitat requirements. This information is necessary for species recovery planning in a region that is poorly understood. Aboriginal traditional knowledge (ATK) of the landscape will contribute to park and forest management planning and aid in raising public awareness of this threatened Ontario species.

Algonquins of Pikwakanagan

Capacity Building for Species at Risk

The main objective of this project is to assist Curve Lake First Nation in starting the process of gathering information and acquiring skills to participate in the Species at Risk program. These skills, along with constructive dialogue between resource users and resource managers, will strengthern the community’s capacity to make positive and informed decisions regarding resource management.

Curve Lake First Nation

Anishnaabe Ishkote: A Dialogue about Traditional Fire and Forest Management

This project will assist the “Anishnaabe Ishkote: A Dialogue about Traditional Fire and Forest Management” group to communicate traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) about fire ecology and its importance to the maintenance of Woodland Caribou habitat. Communications will take place through school and radio presentations led by community elders. Two workshops will be held with the aim of enhancing dialogue between Pikangikum and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) on the use of fire to manage Woodland Caribou habitat within the Whitefeather Forest. The results will be published.

Whitefeather Forest Management Corporation

Sharing the Wisdom of the Alderville First Nation Black Oak Savanna

This project is focused on the Alderville Black Oak Savanna, which is the ideal location for an interpretive and education centre on Ontario’s rarest ecosystems, the Black Oak Savanna and Tallgrass Prairie. The first stage of the project will be to gather information from the community to ensure that any future building meets their needs and that the structure itself will not adversely affect the local environment.

Alderville First Nation

Delivery of Species at Risk Information to the Anishinabek Nation

The A/OFRC will deliver information on the Species At Risk Act (SARA) to communities within the Anishinabek Nation by means of a series of regional meetings. Target audiences will include commercial and subsistence harvesters, band councillors with natural resource portfolios as well as band staff. A special edition of the A/OFRCFisheries News will be produced to highlight SARA and identify the main at–risk species encountered by community harvesters.

Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre (A/OFRC)

Inventory of Potential Species at Risk on Wahgoshig First Nation Traditional Territory

This project is aimed at determining the potential presence of species at risk on the Wahgoshig First Nation land–use territory. By using a combination of both scientific and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), gathered through interviews conducted with Wahgoshig First Nation trappers and elders, the community will be able to identify if any listed at–risk species are present. This information will then be compiled for habitat management purposes. At the end of the project, educational materials will be created to document the findings and maintain a level of awareness.

Wahgoshig First Nation

Webequie, Wunnumin, Kingfisher, and Nibinamik First Nations Woodland Caribou and Wolverine Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge and Winter Tracking

The purpose of this project is to document local traditional knowledge (TK) of Woodland Caribou and Wolverine and to combine this knowledge with science–based surveys. The aim is to gather information on the distribution, important habitat and seasonal–use patterns of these two at–risk species within the Wunnumin, Webequie, Kingfisher and Nibinamik First Nations traditional land–use area.

Webequie First Nation

Species at Risk Inventory Project on Cape Croker and the Saugeen/Nawash Hunting Grounds of the Bruce Peninsula

The goal of this project is to complete inventories on Cape Croker and the Nawash Hunting Grounds of the Bruce Peninsula in order to identify important habitat for select species and to inform other management practices. Both Cape Croker and the Hunting Grounds are home to a variety of species at risk that have not been formally inventoried, including plants and reptiles. This project provides training opportunities for First Nation community members as well.

Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation

Wikwemikong/Point Grondine Species at Risk Sensitive Habitat Assessment Study

This project highlights Wikwemikong’s ambition to become a progressive First Nation when it comes to land management and future planning initiatives. This project proposes to complete field surveys, compile and develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) database, and provide community education and outreach on the species at risk on lands within the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve and the Point Grondine Settlement Lands. The results of this comprehensive study will contribute to building a complete environmental database for use in the development of a 15–year land–use plan for all lands under Wikwemikong’s domain.

Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation (Lands Department)

Collaborative Research on Lake Sturgeon Habitat (Berens River Population)

The goal of the project is to develop the baseline data and skill sets needed for the effective monitoring and recovery of Lake Sturgeon in the Berens River.

Whitefeather Forest Management Corporation

Critical Habitat Protection– Wabaseemong Traditional Use Area (Caribou Provincial Park)

This critical habitat protection project will integrate indigenous knowledge (IK) and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) with conventional Western scientific knowledge to protect calving and nursery habitats of Woodland Caribou on the protected landscape of Woodland Caribou Provincial Park. This project will also collect significant cultural information and, where necessary, forward the information to Woodland Caribou Park Office to ensure protection of the site.

Wabaseemoong Independent Nations

Sagamok Anishnabek Spanish River Lake Sturgeon Assessment

The purpose of this project is to collect data on Lake Sturgeon in a portion of the Spanish River stretching from the Domtar Inc. pulp and paper mill in Espanola to the Spanish River delta, approximately 52 km downstream. Sagamok will carry out the following objectives for this project: conduct an in–depth habitat inventory of known spawning and rearing sites in the Spanish River; tag staging and spawning Lake Sturgeon and track their movements following spawning, including timing their return to successive spawns; conduct larval drift netting; and conduct a juvenile Lake Sturgeon assessment.

Saulteaux Enterprises/Sagamok Anishnawbek

Species at Risk Mapping

The primary objective of this project is to enhance the capacity of Georgina Island First Nation to identify species at risk and their habitat and other environmentally sensitive areas within the reserve lands, so that we can accurately designate those areas to be preserved and protected through mapping, bylaws and other sources. The intention of the project is to maintain a healthy ecosystem and an environmentally sound future for wildlife species at risk as well as community members, cottagers, and surrounding communities, while also ensuring that heritage, tradition and culture are not lost.

Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation

Rainy River First Nations Investigation of Rare Plant Values in Newly Acquired Land Claim Settlement Areas

The Rainy River Watershed Program, through the assistance of project partners such as the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) and the Northern Bioscience, will propose to undertake a land inventory project to locate, identify and map rare plant species in the newly acquired land claim settlement regions distinguished as Hay Bay, Sphene Lake and Gates Ajar. The areas are perceived as a very high potential landscape given their proximity to the Lake of the Woods and the occurrence of 11 ecosites. Previous OMNR work has shown that there are COSEWIC–listed (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) species, as well as other rare and threatened species, within the cross–route forest, thus prompting the investigation into these three specific parcels of land.

Rainy River First Nation

Northern Boreal Initiative – Cat Lake and Slate Falls First Nation – Land–Use Planning – Woodland Caribou Survey – Winter and Calving Habitat

This project supports activities through the Aboriginal Critical Habitat Protection Fund (ACHPF), which will allow Cat Lake First Nation and Slate Falls First Nation to participate in the identification and conservation of important Woodland Caribou habitat within their traditional territory. Currently, the communities are working in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) to assess the feasibility of commercial forestry and find appropriate opportunities to assist in the development of a strategic land–use plan for their traditional territory. The funding will support capacity–building efforts that incorporate a commitment to sharing information, dialogue and cooperation in order that each community understands and participates responsibly in the land–use planning process. The collection of information on the Woodland Caribou’s important habitat, as well as a comprehensive suite of other resource–based data, will support the development of land and resource management plans. Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of the Woodland Caribou’s core and important habitat will provide the needed details for recommendations regarding protected areas and conservation techniques.

Windigo First Nations Council

Trout Lake Forest Caribou Winter Habitat Survey

The purpose of this project is to document concentrations and movements of Woodland Caribou and to identify specific habitat use. Information will be collected by interviewing Lac Seul First Nation (LSFN) elders about caribou movements and activities in the Trout Lake Forest Management area. LSFN will work with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) to produce a report featuring traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) of Woodland Caribou in order to gain a better understanding of historical concentrations, movements and habitat types. This report will contribute to enhanced resource management planning.

Lac Seul First Nation

Northern Boreal Initiative – Eabametoong and Mishkeegogamang, Community–based Integrated Land–use Planning Project – Capacity Building and Species of Concern Surveys

This projects support activities through the Aboriginal Critical Habitat Protection Fund (ACHPF), which will allow Mishkeegogamang and Eabametoong First Nations to participate in the identification and conservation of important Woodland Caribou habitat within their traditional territory. Currently, Mishkeegogamang and Eabametoong First Nations are working in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) to assess the feasibility of commercial forestry and find appropriate opportunities to assist in the development of a land–use strategy for their traditional territory. The funding will support capacity–building efforts that incorporate a commitment to sharing information, dialogue and cooperation in order that each community understands and participates responsibly in the land–use planning process. The collection of information on the Woodland Caribou’s important habitat, as well as a comprehensive suite of other resource–based data, will support the development of land and resource management plans. Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of the Woodland Caribou’s important habitat will provide the needed details for recommendations regarding protected areas and conservation techniques.

Eabametoong and Mishkeegogamang

Southeastern Ontario Algonquin Territory Species at Risk Program

This project is intended to partner the Aboriginal communities of southeastern Ontario with regional conservation organizations and relevant recovery teams to structure and conduct desktop species–at–risk inventories. This will establish working relationships benefiting habitat protection regionally through improved understanding and awareness of species at risk and Aboriginal traditional ecological values. Community outreach will build on these processes within the Aboriginal communities to improve understanding of species at risk and ownership of important habitat protection measures and planning.

Plenty Canada

Smoothrock Lake, Lake Sturgeon Assessment

This project will address the spawning Lake Sturgeon population of Smoothrock Lake, which will be assessed in May of 2007 for a second consecutive year. Detailed habitat information will also be recorded. An Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre (A/OFRC) biologist will be assisted by two community members from Namaygoosisagagun First Nation to implement this study. Life history information will be collected from all captured fish and the results will be presented in a technical report.

Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre (A/OFRC)

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Prairie and Northern Region 2007–2008

SARA Pathfinder Manitoba/Saskatchewan Region

The Species at Risk (SAR) Pathfinder Initiative in Manitoba and Saskatchewan will increase awareness and participation of First Nations in species at risk (SAR) issues, processes, and stewardship. This will be accomplished by developing and distributing SAR communication tools, including newsletters and information packages, as well as classroom materials, including lesson plans, games, and calendars. The goals of the program will also be reached by delivering SAR presentations and technical workshops, and by assisting First Nations to become engaged in projects for the protection and recovery of species at risk and their critical habitat within their territories.

Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER)

SARA Pathfinder Initiative Alberta Region

The First Nations (Alberta) Technical Services Advisory Group has created the First Nations Conservation and Protection Stewardship Program (FNCPSP) in order to raise awareness about conservation and protection stewardship actions and initiatives in First Nation communities in Alberta. The program promotes various federal and regional species at risk (SAR) programs and initiatives, and provides tools and resources to assist community stewardship through the SAR Pathfinder Initiative. The SAR Pathfinder can identify potential conservation, protection, or stewardship programs and projects, including species recovery projects and protection of critical habitat for both terrestrial and aquatic species. This information will be integrated into tribal council and community land–use plans through educational programs and by building local capacity. The program will identify, facilitate and deploy programs and projects that meet the needs of the various communities and encourage the engagement and incorporation of traditional knowledge.

First Nations (Alberta) Technical Services Advisory Group

Least Bittern Population and Habitat Survey on First Nation Lands in the Manitoba Interlake Region

Current information on the occurrence of Least Bitterns on First Nation lands in the Interlake Region of Manitoba is lacking, despite the presence of wetlands and the fact that Least Bitterns are found elsewhere in the region. The Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources will gather indigenous knowledge and conduct breeding bird surveys using a survey protocol developed by the National Least Bittern Recovery Team. Information on other species at risk (SAR) such as the Yellow Rail will also be obtained and a written report describing habitat and survey results will be produced.

Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER)

Southern Saskatchewan First Nations Species at Risk Protection Plan

The First Nations Agricultural Council of Saskatchewan is a large–scale program that will look at a multitude of species and their habitats. It encompasses a number of smaller projects conducted on several First Nations lands. The projects will acknowledge the environmental needs of the existing species at risk and their habitats and focus on encouraging agricultural practices that protect and support the development of healthy habitat. The aim is also to raise awareness within the communities and among all those involved in the projects.

First Nations Agricultural Council of Saskatchewan

Creating an Attitude of Stewardship and Habitat Protection

In the Earth’s life cycles, “what goes around comes around.” The primary focus of this project is to engage young people in sturgeon conservation. The sustainability of the sturgeon for present and future generations is threatened by overfishing, while its very survival is in peril due the destruction of its habitat through hydro–electric flooding. The Nelson River Sturgeon Board (NRSB) has two management goals: to encourage communities to harvest less of the breeding stock and to increase sturgeon numbers by hatching, rearing and releasing fingerlings. This project will require resources to raise awareness of these issues among fishers, elders, leaders, schools and students, and the general public in the NRSB communities, and to mobilize their commitment to these initiatives.

Nelson River Sturgeon Board

Blood Tribe Critical Habitat Identification, Conservation Planning and Outreach

The aim is to increase the Blood Tribe's capacity with respect to species at risk on their lands and related environmental issues by means of technical products and services.

The three expected outcomes of the Blood Tribe Land Management project are as follows:

  1. Elder interviews captured in a documentary on DVD; CD–Rom interactive media; development of educational supplements for technology in use in schools and communities (on and off reserve);
  2. Development and implementation of guidelines for habitat and species identification, assessment (survey and monitoring), and protection of Blood Tribe Critical Habitat Target Species;
  3. Blackfoot Confederacy Tribes meeting to discuss target species and recovery issues

Blood Tribe Land Management

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Pacific and Yukon Region 2007–2008

Exploring Pathways for the Development of an Osoyoos Indian Band Approach to Protecting Species at Risk

The Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) has been involved in conservation activities for over 10 years. However, significant capacity gaps remain with respect to the OIB’s ability to assert a jurisdictional or governance approach to the protection of biodiversity within its territory. This project will address these gaps by developing administrative and technical capacity to protect biodiversity. By enhancing the OIB understands of legislation and policy impacting species at risk (SARs), facilitating the OIB’s role in consultations and negotiations with government and industry on conservation matters, and exploring the development of an OIB fieldwork methodology, it is hoped that this project will lead to the development of an OIB approach to protecting biodiversity.

Osoyoos Indian Band

Lower Similkameen Conservation Capacity Building

This project will build capacity by supporting vital community groups such as the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Committee and range tenure holders. This project will support the band’s ability to produce effective proposals and reports. It will also support increased collaboration, and enable project leads to increase capacity through training opportunities and workshops. It will serve as baseline support for the Lower Similkameen Indian Band (LSIB) Environmental Department. By providing a strategic planning process to the community, project members, will have input from and ownership on the part of the Environmental Department management. The Environmental Coordinator will have support to produce reports, write proposals and hold community meetings. Community involvement to ensure the continuity of conservation initiatives will also be nurtured through this project.

Lower Similkameen Indian Band

Penticton Indian Band Capacity Development for Species–at–risk Recovery

The purpose of this project is to develop the institutional, technical and administrative capacity of the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) to undertake conservation and recovery measures for species at risk and to address regulatory issues related to the implementation of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). This capacity development will utilize and build on the best available Aboriginal traditional and local knowledge, and scientific knowledge, and will link to community planning processes that the band is undertaking for the future development of the reserve. The short–term outcomes will be to consult with the traditional ecological knowledge keepers, elders and members of the community regarding the importance of species at risk and their habitat. Other activities include promoting the Penticton Indian Band’s species–at–risk (SAR) strategy within the community plan; identifying specific SAR habitat and potential habitat on PIB lands; holding outreach and education sessions with the community; building awareness and understanding of recovery strategies of SAR on PIB lands; and developing an ability to work with the Canadian Wildlife Service and recovery practitioners on implementation. The long–term outcome will be the integration of environmental values with the comprehensive community planning of the PIB in a manner that will ensure the conservation of species at risk populations on the reserve and surrounding landscape.

Penticton Indian Band

Conservation of the Western Rattlesnake: Effectiveness of Snake Fencing

The goal of the project is to protect snake populations and their habitats by restricting snake access to roadways and preventing human encroachment in an area of high–population density. The project will study the effect of a snake exclusion fence as a management tool to prevent road mortality and human–snake interaction. The biologist, along with the project coordinator, will train resort managers and staff to safely encounter and relocate snakes and ensure their participation in the study. Interpreters are trained to deliver a daily public program on the biology and status of Western Rattlesnakes and four other snake species at risk.

Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Centre

Southern Vancouver Island Recovery Strategy for Abalone – First Nation Initiative in Marine Conservation and Protection

The Te’mexw Development Corporation, a First Nation organization consisting of the T’sou–ke, Beecher Bay, Songhees, Malahat and Nanoose First Nations, is developing local community capacity to assist species–at–risk recovery strategies for the Northern Abalone on Southern Vancouver Island. This initiative consists of communicating the importance of community involvement in the Species at Risk Program, conducting initial planning for a training workshop on recovery strategies for species at risk (abalone), and exploring the possibility of expanding the West Coast Abalone Coastal Watch Program run by the Bamfield Marine Science Center to the southern island.

Te'mexw Development Corporation

Traditional Ecological Knowledge Involvement in Assessments

The project will undertake to coordinate the activities of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) experts. The TEK biologist experts in the South Okanagan Similkameen will convene meetings and undertake site visits to at least 2 habitat sites off reserve and undertake to provide TEK assessment reports and data related to at least 4 species currently requiring Aboriginal traditional knowledge (ATK) to determine the Species at Risk Act (SARA) status and provide other information related to the recovery of those species.

Okanagan Indian Educational Resources Society (En'owkin Centre)

South Okanagan Similkameen Syilx Environmental Committee Conservation Programming for Species at Risk

The South Okanagan–Similkameen Syilx Environmental Committee is a recently formed committee composed of South Okanagan First Nations and non–governmental organizations. The committee is currently composed of the Lower Similkameen, Penticton and Osoyoos Indian bands, as well as the Okanagan Nation Alliance and the En’owkin Centre.

The primary purpose of this project is to address organizational challenges and barriers preventing First Nations communities in the South Okanagan–Similkameen from full participation in environmental conservation initiatives both on and off reserve without compromising political or traditional values.

Lower Similkameen Indian Band

Detailed Evaluation of High–Use Cetacean Habitat in Gitga’at Traditional Territory and Gitga'at Northern Abalone Assessment and Recovery Program

Detailed cetacean distribution, abundance, and behavioral data will be collected from waters within and adjacent to Bishop Bay, an area that has been identified as critical autumn habitat. Information synthesized from daily visual surveys will address how and why these areas are important to cetaceans and will contribute to special management plans in the area designed to protect this critical cetacean habitat.

Gitga’at Development Corporation

Heiltsuk Fisheries Program Whale Project

The Heiltsuk Fisheries Program Whale Project aims to create a better understanding of the habitat use requirements and behaviour of Humpback Whales and Killer Whales along the central coast. This will involve conducting field studies to locate and identify individuals, collecting traditional ecological knowledge based information about these species and developing community education and involvement initiatives.

Heiltsuk Fisheries Program

Sweltzer Creek Recovery of Critical Habitat, Monitoring and Riparian Planting

The habitat of Sweltzer Creek is critical for the endangered Cultus Lake Sockeye. The Aboriginal Critical Habitat Protection Program is providing funds for the recovery of critical habitat, monitoring and riparian planting in Sweltzer Creek, near Cultus Lake, British Columbia. The funds will be used to remove invasive Eurasian Milfoil from the Cultus Lake end of Sweltzer Creek and establish monitoring plots to determine the success of the milfoil removal. In addition, riparian planting of conifers along the streamside will improve the long–term quality of the riparian habitat.

Soowahlie First Nation

SARA Curriculum for Haida Secondary Students

Haida participation in species–at–risk (SAR) planning is the key to project success on Haida Gwaii. Yet a comprehensive understanding of SARs and the opportunities associated with wildlife work are rare. Haida youth are the immediate future labour pool that will either engage in SAR–led initiatives, or unknowingly ignore them altogether. Without adequate planning and capacity building, the proposed species likely face extinction within the lifespan of these same Haida youth. We propose to build upon our successes both as Council of the Haida Nation technical support and Haida Gwaii educators, and bring these species in a curriculum package to Haida Gwaii secondary students through a combination of in–class and field modules, fully designed and led by experienced staff, in partnership with a number of organizations.

Secretariat of the Haida Nation

The Arboreal Lichen – Winter Feeding Ecotype – Mountain Caribou Metapopulation Project

Building on experience from 2006–2007, this project will a) build relationships between Métis, government agencies, other Aboriginal peoples, industry, academia and non–governmental organizations; b) enhance the technical ability of Métis to provide meaningful input to conservation and recovery planning; c) create opportunities for Métis involvement in recovery activities; d) create awareness among Métis citizens, which leads to support for Métis involvement in recovery of thirteen sub–populations of Mountain Caribou in the Interior Wet Belt of British Columbia; and e) develop digital maps of Aboriginal traditional knowledge (ATK) for Mountain Caribou collected from Métis interviews.

Métis Nation BC

Woodland Caribou and SARA: Northern Nations Alliance

This project is intended to enable the Northern Nations Alliance members to have a shared role in the development of conservation plans for the Northern Mountain Woodland Caribou population and the development of herd–specific plans. The project will contribute information to the goals of the Species of Risk Act (SARA) and develop capacity to use community knowledge and traditional knowledge in the development of SARA plans.

Dahk ka Tlingit Tribal Council

Enhancement and Monitoring of Spalding's Campion Habitat

This project will further improve the chances of survival of the Canadian population of Spalding’s Campion, a species with only two populations, one on the Tobacco Plains Indian Reserve and the other on adjacent private land. The threat of noxious weeds will be reduced through the foliar application of non–residual herbicide. The population of the Spalding’s Campion will be surveyed, counted and mapped allowing for future monitoring. The results from this work will be communicated to the band council, band members and the East Kootenay population.

Tobacco Plains Indian Band

Identification and Conservation Planning for Species at Risk at Shackan Indian Reserve 11

The project will involve conducting a survey of community members to determine community awareness and sightings of Western Rattlesnakes, Great Basin Gopher Snakes and Western Yellow–bellied Racers on Shackan First Nation lands. Aerial photos and topographic mapping will be reviewed to identify potential habitat and denning sites for these species. Based on this information, a field survey will be conducted. The information will be captured in a geographic information system (GIS) format and mapped to be used as a multi–dimensional planning tool and aid future planning activities. Subsequent project phases will include a community presentation, a final report and information brochures summarizing the details of the surveys and provide mitigation and future planning strategies.

Shackan Indian Band

Dry Ecosystem Species–at–risk Project

The Lower Nicola Indian Band (LNIB) has a total of 10 reserves throughout the Nicola Valley, British Columbia, totaling more than 17 500 acres of land. Very little information for species at risk (SARs) exists for the LNIB Reserve lands. The LNIB Natural Resource Department proposes to use predictive ecosystem mapping to identify habitat suitability for 13 SARs associated with grassland and dry forest ecosystems. The Natural Resource Department will assess the suitability models in the field, identifying potential threats and limitations to SAR habitat. Project results will be presented to the Chief and Council members and on the band website.

Lower Nicola Indian Band

Protection of the Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa) Population at Maria Slough

This project is designed to involve and inform the band council at large about the stewardship needs of the Oregon Spotted Frog and other species at risk (SARs) and to create a dialogue among bands in the upper Fraser Valley regarding SAR issues and cooperative projects. Monitoring the Oregon Spotted Frog population size and participating in husbandry activities will also occur. Surveys for the Salish Sucker will be initiated.

Seabird Island Band

Northern Leopard Frog Recovery – Habitat Enhancement

The project will consist of two parts: a) a feasibility study, which will determine what improvements, enhancements, costs and maintenance of the Lower Kootenay band wetlands will be required to ensure there is long–term habitat for Northern Leopard Frogs; and b) a reintroduction plan delineating steps to successfully reintroduce Northern Leopard Frogs.

St. Mary's Band

Critical Habitat Identification, Population Assessment and Capacity Development – Upper Fraser White Sturgeon

The Upper Fraser White Sturgeon stock is one of the smallest and most genetically unique components of the White Sturgeon species. The population has a healthy structure, but its small size makes it susceptible to habitat degradation and population declines. Via sampling and telemetry, the critical habitats of this stock group will begin to be identified and refined so that their protection can be assured. Two Lheidli T’enneh First Nation technical staff will be trained and participate as lead technicians for the project.

Lheidli T’enneh First Nation

Secwepemc Communities Species–at–risk Management Plan

The project involves the Secwepemc communities through meetings, the creation of a database and a planning document to identifying current and historical occurrences of species at risk (SARs) on their lands, as well as the cultural and traditional importance of these species. Information will be collected, recorded and compiled into a database designed for ongoing (future) use. Information from the database will be compiled into a planning document designed to outline future objectives, recommendations, management and land use planning for SARs.

Splatsin First Nation

Critical Habitat Identification and Refinement – Juvenile Nechako White Sturgeon

The Nechako River will be surveyed utilizing gillnets for the purposes of capturing and sampling juvenile White Sturgeon (ages 1–10; < 1 m total length). Information collected will allow for a determination of specific habitats and areas utilized by juvenile fish, and an assessment of the nature of these locations. The identification of these important/critical habitats will allow for their eventual protection and management. Information collected will also allow for a determination of the rates of growth and distribution of the first cohort of hatchery–reared fish, and levels of naturally occurring juvenile recruitment, and factors contributing the ongoing recruitment failure.

Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC)

Musqueam Critical Habitat Protection Project

As a community–based non–profit organization, the Musqueam Ecosystem Conservation Society (MECS) will work using science and traditional ecological knowledge to identify critical habitat and implement a conservation strategy to protect the Pacific Water Shrew. This work will take place on the Musqueam Indian Band Reserve, which is the last remaining Pacific Water Shrew habitat in Vancouver that does not yet enjoy some form of protected status.

Musqueam Ecosystem Conservation Society

Aboriginal Lands – Species at Risk Act Co–development

This project will continue the work to preserve, protect and enhance the quality of the human and natural environment as well as promote a special land conservancy model based on an environmental covenant to develop knowledge about and respect for the natural environment. Our intent is to play a positive and meaningful role in protecting our natural environment for present and future generations.

One of the main project objectives is to develop a new methodology of protecting existing endangered habitat through the implementation of a First Nations Land Trust conservancy model, some of which is unique to Indian reserve lands. The unique legal status of First Nations’ land, including land subject to continuing exercise of First Nation rights, means that unique and creative solutions must be devised in order to protect these endangered areas.

First Nations Land Trust

Tools for Conservation Planning for Garry Oak Habitat on Cowichan Tribes Lands

The goal of the project is to develop strategic tools to conserve Garry Oak habitats on Cowichan Tribes lands, through improving development planning. The project will inventory Garry Oak species–at–risk habitat at Quamichan Village. Education sessions will be held with community members, Cowichan administration and the Chief and Council on species at risk (SARs), the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and best management practices for development at Garry Oak habitat sites. Tools that represent best management practices for development on lands with Garry Oak ecosystems will be developed.

Cowichan Tribes

Species–at–risk Capacity–building and Habitat Protection in the Ktunaxa Traditional Territory

This project will develop a long–term framework including species–specific management guidelines, initiatives and processes that will enable the Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC) to effectively collaborate with the federal, provincial and local governments, non–governmental organizations and industry to effect long–term, positive and meaningful change in species–at–risk management in the traditional territory, on and off reserve. In addition, the project will raise awareness of species at risk (SARs) in local communities through the production of SARs playing cards an educational tool.

Ktunaxa Nation Council

Species at Risk Act Land Management Project

This project is part of an overall Nlaka’pamux land management plan being developed by the Nicola Tribal Association (NTA) through Tmixw Research and the Tmixw Research Cultural Resource Management Division. The goal of this project is to develop a plan that can be utilized in the co–management of the Nlaka’pamux Territories and in the Provincial Land Use Planning for the Merritt Timber Supply Area and in building the capacity of the NTA to participate fully in the land management process within this territory.

Nicola Tribal Association

Uu–a–thluk Species–at–Risk Guidebook – Phase II and Building Awareness in Nuu–chah–nulth First Nations about Critical Habitat of West Coast Vancouver Island Marine Mammal Species at Risk and Using Scientific and Local Knowledge to Identify Critical Habitat for Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris)

A comprehensive guidebook to West Coast Vancouver Island terrestrial and aquatic species at risk (SARs) will be produced for use by Nuu–chah–nulth First Nations in planning and development activities on their lands and in marine areas of West Coast Vancouver Island (WCVI). A shorter version of the guidebook, focused on education and awareness about SARs, will also be produced for more widespread distribution among Nuu–chah–nulth communities. Through field and classroom activities, Nuu–chah–nulth communities will be trained to effectively use the guidebook and other sources of information on SARs in planning and development on First Nations lands.

The second part of the project focuses on building capacity for the identification of critical habitat for marine mammal spices at risk on the west coast of Vancouver Island, through classroom–based training sessions for Nuu–chah–nulth First Nations members and fieldwork with marine mammal biologists. The resulting increase in awareness about the role of critical habitat and increase in critical habitat identification skills will help build support for recovery and action plans, and the information gathered will play an important role in management plans as these species recover.

Nuu–chah–nulth Tribal Council

Locatee Lands Protection Project

This project will maintain the securement of 72 ha of critical species–at–risk (SAR) habitat containing cottonwood and Red–osier Dogwood located on two adjacent certificates of possession (CPs), land lots under current stewardship lease adjacent to the Okanagan River Channel on the Penticton Indian Reserve. Landowner contact, value assessments and legal encumbrance searches toward lease or transfer into protected status, of approximately 5 ha in a CP lot containing wetland and riparian habitats adjacent to two lots currently held under lease will also be carried out. The project will undertake activities to mitigate severe damage by beavers to standing cottonwood bordering Shatford Creek. Further, this project will support quality traditional ecological knowledge information and data input and planning in locatee lands restoration and mitigation, and will provide advice in other reserve critical habitat work to restore species at risk.

Okanagan Indian Educational Resources Society (En'owkin Centre)

Protection and Enhancement of Painted Turtle Habitat

Turtle habitat is threatened by overgrazing by cattle and horses on the reserve and turtle nesting habitat by trampling and all–terrain vehicle (ATV) use. This project will see the improvement of existing fences around lakes and the construction of new fences around critical turtle nesting habitat as its primary activity. The project will also have an element of community education through a meeting, the development of brochures or pamphlets and the erection of signage. The signage will reach the community and non–local users of the lakes, in particular Edward’s Lake.

Tobacco Plains Indian Band