Indigenous Guardians Network Feasibility Study
Working through the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, we have developed a strong relationship with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), including TNC Canada. Our TNC colleagues in British Columbia have shared the success of a community-based natural resource model that is working well in tribal communities along the coast. Each participating community has an “Indigenous Guardian Program” and these programs are connected and supported through an “Indigenous Guardians Network”.
Through the support of TNC and the Edgerton Foundation, SEAWEAD will be leading an effort to assess the utility and feasibility of launching an Indigenous Guardians Network in southeast Alaska. This work will begin with a focus on four primary objectives:
- Establish a steering committee to develop a shared vision and identify resource needs for an Indigenous Guardian Network
- Establish and facilitate a steering committee of stakeholders to develop a shared vision for what an Indigenous Guardians Network (IGN) could look like in southeast Alaska, what value an IGN would add to the current status of community and regional natural resource management capacities, outline how an IGN could operate and identify resource needs.
- Survey potential partners and audit policy tools and funding streams for supporting an Indigenous Guardian Network
- Survey potential partner capacities for supporting and participating in an Indigenous Guardian Network and audit existing and potential policy tools and funding mechanisms that are well-suited to supporting IGPs over the long-term.
- Develop a sustainable business model for an Indigenous Guardian Network
- Based on the findings from the policy and funding audit, develop a sustainable business model for an IGN that blends suitable policy tools, grants, government funding, private dollars, payments for ecosystem services, etc. to provide a reliable and resilient foundation for launching an Indigenous Guardians Network.
- Host a regional gathering to discuss the findings and chart next steps
- Host a regional gathering with stakeholders i.e. (public and private natural resource managers, tribal governments, city governments, local businesses and interested residents) to share everything that was learned from the above, to develop an action plan for next steps and identify communities that are interested in pursuing pilot programs.