Canada supports Indigenous led conservation efforts

From: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Ottawa, Ontario – Collaboration with Indigenous communities from coast to coast to coast is key to understanding, learning and putting to action how best to protect our environment.

In recognition of Indigenous History Month, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, reminds us of the hard the work being implemented under the Indigenous Habitat Participation Program. This $50 million, five-year initiative (2019-2023) provides Indigenous organizations with funding to support collaboration, planning, conservation, protection, monitoring and data collection as it relates to fish and fish habitat.

Last year, the program supported 12 new projects totaling more than $1.6 million, including for example:

  • the Indian Associations Coordinating Committee of Ontario Incorporated to exchange information with Ontario First Nations about the modernized Fisheries Act authorizations and Great Lakes Sea Lamprey Control;
  • the Tseil-Waututh First Nation to conduct fish habitat surveys and fish habitat mapping in Tsleil-Waututh traditional territory; and
  • the Dene Nation to organize community meetings on Indigenous knowledge that will also support the modernization of the Fisheries Act.

The Indigenous Habitat Participation Program has seen great success leading to a second call for proposals for the program, which was launched on June 8, 2020.


“Indigenous knowledge is critical to the management of Canada’s fisheries and fish habitat, and our environment overall. The work that First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities are doing under the Indigenous Habitat Participation Program gives our government invaluable guidance and advice on our conservation and restoration work. We will continue to listen to our Indigenous partners on how best to protect our precious ecosystems, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it is what’s best for our environment.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • The Indigenous Habitat Participation Program will provide up to $40 million in contributions and up to $10 million in grants over five years. Submissions for grants are accepted year-round, whereas contributions are allocated following annual calls for proposal.

  • The contribution component of the program supports engagement, capacity building and collaborative activities.

  • The grants component of the program supports consultation on authorizations under the Fisheries Act.

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