BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Project

• Description of projects for Workshops (PDF)

The National Indigenous Fisheries Institute and the First Nations Fisheries Council of BC are partnering to deliver a British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF) project to engage Indigenous organizations and communities in large-scale, multi-Nation initiatives that may be funded through BCSRIF. These initiatives are intended to support increased Indigenous involvement in science partnerships, innovation and infrastructure investments that improve productivity, sustainability, and safety across the fisheries and aquaculture sector.


Eight proposed projects are described below. The full concept paper for each is hyperlinked below the description.

1. Standardizing salmonid and ecological monitoring and data collection tools and training

Concept: BCSRIF funds would support:

  • Inventory existing tools used by AAROMS and BC First Nations to monitor and/or collect data on fish stocks, fisheries, habitat and water quality, flow damage/obstruction, land changes and vulnerabilities to riparian zones and habitats
  • Establish best tools for these activities and those who need them
  • Bring together AAROMs, First Nations and gov’t partners to agree upon: 1) standardized tools for monitoring and data collection, 2) training required, 3) data-sharing protocol
  • Identify opportunities for AAROMs and First Nations to offer monitoring and data collection services to governments under contract

2. GIS mapping of riparian areas using UAVs and LiDAR technology to inform risk vulnerability capacity and planning for sensitive waterways

Concept: BCSRIF funds would support AAROMs to:

  • Two to four pilots (to start) with AAROMs gathering baseline data and subsequent data to compare landscape shifts
  • Interpreted GIS data would then be used to develop community-based watershed maps (that would inform long-term risk vulnerability mitigation/response planning processes)
    • Interpreted data to be shared on an online platform
    • Collaborative decision-making to establish online platform and coordination lead
  • Partnership with University of Victoria’s Map Shop Collaborative

3. Aquaculture water quality, science and monitoring

Concept: BCSRIF funds would support more BC First Nations to:

  • Monitor marine aquaculture facility water quality, wastewater disposal, and impacts to the health of the surrounding environment
  • Undertake scientific research and use Indigenous knowledge to inform decision-making
  • Advance capacity and economic development opportunities for First Nations to be more involved in technical and industry aquaculture activities

4. AAROM involvement in the Pacific Salmon-Ecosystem Climate Consortium

Concept: BCSRIF funds would support AAROMs to become partners in the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium and the scientific work undertaken by it

  • AAROMs review their past studies/research partnerships on climate impacts on salmon and habitat to prepare for a one- or two-day session involving DFO and other scientists
  • Final report from session would outline a work plan for AAROM/member community monitors identified in concept #1 to collect data to inform broad salmon rebuilding/habitat restoration
  • Phase two would support AAROM/member community monitors to implement the work plan and other watershed partnership research

5. Estuary habitat management planning for First Nations Fisheries

Concept: BCSRIF funds would support AAROMs and BC First Nations to develop estuary habitat management plans to help communities articulate their fisheries priorities at marine spatial planning technical and decision-making tables

  • Working with AAROMs and First Nations to assess current estuary habitat management planning (and plans, if they exist) and to update/develop plans
  • Leveraging First Nations best practises and filling the gaps as marine spatial planning activities accelerate

6. Dealing with salmonid habitat impacts by other industries

Concept: BCSRIF funds would support AAROMs and BC First Nations to build capacity to be more involved in habitat remediation economic opportunities, including through procurement

  • Capacity building to enable increased First Nations participation in other habitat remediation programs (i.e., those set up to remove dams or culverts or to deal with the impacts of mining, forestry or agriculture)
  • Support for mentoring and business development
  • Leveraging First Nations best practises

7. First Nations natural disaster response network

Concept: BCSRIF funds would support the development and maintenance of a BC First Nations Natural Disaster Response Network

  • BC-wide First Nations contact list for federal, provincial and municipal governments to more easily (and quickly) collaborate during natural disasters and environmental events
  • Based on lessons learned during Big Bar landslide event (and other past events)
  • Opportunity for small amounts of funding to make a difference each year to communities
  • Good employment opportunity for First Nations student (intern)

8. Salmonid rebuilding strategy

Concept to be developed as a result of January 2020 workshops with AAROMs and BC First Nations

  • Opportunity for AAROMs and BC First Nations to share their ideas building from Made-in-BC Wild Salmon Strategy and Wild Salmon Policy
  • Collection of success stories about streams, lakes, rivers, estuaries, etc. that have seen changes as a result of programs and activities
  • Identification of economic opportunities which would enable salmonid rebuilding