Indigenous Peoples have had fundamental ties with Canada’s oceans and waterways for generations. Indigenous knowledge and expertise are critical to protecting our coastal waters now and into the future. Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan will continue to create opportunities for Indigenous Peoples to collaboratively protect, preserve, and restore our oceans and waterways.
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, invited First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities and organizations to apply for funding to establish Indigenous Marine Coordinator (IMC) positions. These positions will increase Indigenous partners’ capacity to participate in the development and implementation of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan.
Since the launch of the Oceans Protection Plan in 2016, the Government of Canada has worked with Indigenous communities and organizations to develop solutions to improve local marine safety, protect local marine environments, and prevent local marine incidents. This collaboration is an important step towards greater management of Canada’s coasts with Indigenous partners.
Taking a greater role in the design and implementation of these solutions requires significant time and resources from Indigenous communities and organizations. To support this increased role, eligible groups can apply until May 19, 2023, for funding to hire internal Indigenous Marine Coordinators. These positions may be funded for up to four years.
The Government of Canada is committed to continuing to work meaningfully with First Nations, Inuit, Métis and coastal communities in delivering the Oceans Protection Plan and respecting the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
The Oceans Protection Plan is a Canadian success story. When Indigenous Peoples, industry, communities, scientists, and government work together to protect our environment, grow our economy, and support good jobs across the country, we deliver real results. The renewed and expanded Oceans Protection Plan will keep our oceans and coasts healthy, advance reconciliation, and build a clean future for our children and grandchildren.