Terms of Reference

Introduction

This document presents terms of reference for the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute as adopted by the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute Board on August 22, 2017.

Vision

The National Indigenous Fisheries Institute is a federally incorporated, not-for-profit organization, which is also seeking charitable status from the Canada Revenue Agency. The Institute has been established to support the capacity development, technical development and administrative development of communities, organizations and agencies receiving support from Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Indigenous Programs.

This will be done by working directly with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, other government departments and agencies, and Indigenous organizations to support the co-design, co-delivery and co-management of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s own programs specifically to achieve the following:

  1. Practical and workable program design, delivery and management
  2. National consistency between and within programs being delivered now and in the future by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other government departments
  3. Standardization of program metrics so as to create comparability amongst and between programs and to facilitate performance measurement and reporting across all programs
  4. Support for the development and initiation of programs and initiatives by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other government departments specifically relating to:
    1. Indigenous fisheries management
    2. Indigenous fisheries and habitat field science
    3. Indigenous environmental assessment and habitat protection
    4. Indigenous oceans management and the Oceans Protection Program
    5. Indigenous programs and initiatives designed to support commercial production, sales and marketing at a national and international scale
    6. Indigenous programs and initiatives designed to support widespread development of aquaculture innovation
    7. Indigenous access to commercial capital
    8. Indigenous training: from sea trades to corporate administration
    9. Indigenous development of international networks and programs

Goals and Objectives

The main goal for the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute is to work with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Indigenous communities and other government departments and agencies to lead a national-scale engagement on the full spectrum of programs in order to achieve the above-stated vision by:

  1. Forming a series of working groups and collaborating committees with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to support program standardization in order to make programs practical and workable
  2. Extending these working groups to other government departments, as required
  3. Working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other government departments to obtain funding support for the program activities described within this and other documents
  4. Working with the private sector to achieve goals related to national marketing campaign and market access
  5. Working with the financial sector to create workable plans for capital access
  6. Working with other government departments and foreign governments, as required, to achieve viable and beneficial programs for the development of the Indigenous fisheries and aquaculture sector in Canada in concert with these sectors from other countries

At the end of a five-year development cycle, we expect that National Indigenous Fisheries Institute will have achieved or surpassed the following milestones:

  1. Long term Indigenous funding agreement (beyond a year) with Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  2. Memorandum of Understanding and support from Employment and Social Development Canada to develop and deliver, with regional organizations, a comprehensive and on-going training program for Indigenous communities
  3. A comprehensive, practical and workable program for Guardians and Fishery Officers that includes both integration of effort and a career stream to support the continuation of these initiatives in the long term
  4. A program promoting the standardization of all scientific measures within Indigenous resource management agencies to a world standard – United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (and its Permanent Working Group on Fishery Statistics)
  5. A robust and supported integrated marketing plan and program, involving both Government and the private sector, that works directly with producers to ensure maximum value for products sold domestically, to the US and to overseas markets
  6. Establishment of a technology exchange program with Mexico and other nations to ensure that Canadian Indigenous fisheries and aquaculture projects and programs are on the leading edge in the application of technology
  7. An established and well-operated capital access program that supports the aspirations and capital needs of Indigenous commercial fishing enterprises and responds to regional differences
  8. The establishment of a progressive process to facilitate Indigenous investment in the commercial sport fishery on all coasts for future generations
  9. Other program and initiatives as identified by the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute Board of Directors

Scope and Boundaries

The National Indigenous Fisheries Institute is subject to the following delimitations and parameters:

  1. Technical issues – the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute supports Indigenous communities and programs through dialogue on technical issues. These include:
    1. Administrative advice and support including all aspects of financial control
    2. Program troubleshooting
    3. Science advice and skills transfer
    4. Resource management support and skills transfer
    5. Program development
    6. Outreach services and communications
    7. Training program development and implementation
    8. Capital access and business planning support
    9. Market access and marketing support
  2. Collaboration with national- and regional-level Indigenous organizations – the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute works directly with national and regional Indigenous agencies and organizations to achieve harmony and consensus as to needs and priorities

Authority

The National Indigenous Fisheries Institute is not a politically representative organization.

For greater certainty, the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute is a technical resource that provides advice to Tier 1 and Tier 2 in order to support program delivery and economic development in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. The National Indigenous Fisheries Institute does not have authority to engage in any form of consultation with government at any level. That authority rests with the rights holders.

Purpose

The purpose of the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute is to oversee, and ensure, the implementation of this action plan in collaboration with Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The Board and Board Chair will act in good faith, ensuring collaboration with government and Indigenous groups, to implement a strategic vision for the benefit of Indigenous Peoples and communities. The articles of this responsibility include:
    1. Attending all meetings
    2. Providing advice as required and requested
    3. Reviewing all documents and proposals as requested
    4. Reviewing and approving the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute business plan
    5. Ensuring the Institute remains in good standing
  2. The Executive Director of the Secretariat reports to the Board and fulfills his duties as decided by the Board.
    1. The Executive Director acts as the Chief Operating Officer for the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute on a day-to-day basis
  3. External Advisors in the Secretariat will be associated with the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute at the discretion of the Board.

Communications Protocol

Communications is a key component of the overall engagement and collaboration between the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute, government and Indigenous communities. In the modern times, with the use of social media as well as conventional outlets, timely and accurate communications are essential.

The National Indigenous Fisheries Institute will follow a formal structure for the flow of information – both from the Institute and to the Institute. This structure is shown in Diagram 1 below.

 

Diagram 1: Formal Communications Structure: Flow of Information In and Out

The National Indigenous Fisheries Institute communications plan will be developed into a more formal standard operating procedure as things move forward. In the development of the Communications standard operating procedure, the following elements will figure centrally:

  1. Confidentiality – as a standing rule, all correspondence, drafts of documents, proposals etc. are to be considered confidential until they are officially released by the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute for dissemination
  2. Internal communications – as a standing rule, all internal communications, internal memos (documents or correspondence that are not overtly on the public record) are to be considered confidential at all times (“protected” in federal terminology)
  3. Communications with other Indigenous agencies – as a standing rule, all communication with other Indigenous organizations is to be considered confidential and can only be released with the agreement of the Board
  4. Communication with government – as a standing rule, all communication with the Government of Canada and/or provincial or territorial agencies is to be considered on the public record
  5. Communications outward:
    1. Web site and social media – as a standing rule, the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute web site and all social media posts and responses will be controlled by the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute Secretariat. The Secretariat will respond to the directions of the Board and the Executive in terms of all postings on the Institute’s sites and accounts. As required, and to be posted in the standard operating procedure manual, guidelines relating to this type of communications will be developed
    2. Print, radio and television – conventional communications will be handled in a manner consistent with the points stated in 5a above

Deliverables

The National Indigenous Fisheries Institute will produce an annual report.

Implementation Plans

The National Indigenous Fisheries Institute will develop a business model that is guided by a strategic plan and an annual work plan. This will outline the direction of activity for the short, medium and long term perspectives.

Within the annual work plan, there will be details of the schedule and priority of programs and initiatives. At the time of writing, the following projects are in process, on the horizon or are engaged:

  1. Indigenous Program Review
  2. Negotiations with Fisheries and Oceans Canada for Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management support and related to the Oceans Protection Plan
  3. Memorandum of Understanding with Employment and Social Development Canada and federal program development
  4. Indigenous Program Review follow-up outreach and process – monitoring and enforcement
  5. Market support and market development initiatives
  6. Science and science education initiatives
  7. International program follow-up and development – Global Affairs Canada
  8. Access to capital, enterprise administration and technical business support

Administration and Standard Operating Procedures

The administration of the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute will be conventional, transparent and accountable. The roles of the Executive Director, financial control and the Secretariat will follow conventional organization precedents.

The National Indigenous Fisheries Institute will develop (borrow) elements to be combined into a standard operating procedures manual to guide administrators and the Board in future years. This manual will include:

  1. Roles of the Board, the Chair, the Executive Director, the financial comptroller and the Secretariat
  2. Notes on meeting schedules, notice, rule of the Chair, minutes, and records of decisions
  3. Notes on personnel, hiring, administration and conduct
  4. Notes on financial and activity reporting
  5. Notes on dispute resolution
  6. Notes on funding sources, acceptable initiatives and activities, and reporting
  7. Notes on communications and interactions with:
    1. Government of Canada
    2. Indigenous organizations at all levels
    3. Provincial and territorial government agencies
    4. Non-governmental organizations
    5. Foreign governments, their agencies and their non-governmental organizations
    6. Private sector