Engaging with First Nations
Thanks to all the Columbia Region grant applicants who submitted an optional Notice of Intent (NOI) by the September 9 deadline. If you did not submit a NOI, we encourage and expect all grant applicants to follow the Nations’ guidance for early engagement (see Table 1 below) prior to submitting your grant application.
The NOI is an important part of our commitment to First Nations. It is used to inform relevant First Nations about your proposed project, and is the basis for identifying opportunities for First Nation engagement in your proposed project. Strengthened engagement of First Nations is a priority for our Columbia Region board and a consideration during the review and evaluation of all grant applications.
Guidance for early engagement
If you did not to participate in this optional NOI process, please follow our guidance for early engagement with First Nations in Table 1 below.
Follow our guidance for contacting First Nations
- We expect your initial contact with specific First Nations will occur well in advance of the grant application deadline (i.e. within one week of receiving written notice of the First Nations you have been directed to contact).
- Initial contact will be via email and include the following information clearly and concisely:
- a map of the project location;
- an overview of the project’s expected objectives or research questions (one to two sentences);
- a summary paragraph outlining your proposed approach and timelines (three to four sentences); and
- your initial intentions for First Nations involvement in your project (two to three sentences).
When you hear back from your First Nations contacts, seven points should guide your discussion:
- First Nations priorities and values: Discuss specific priorities and values for the First Nation and identify how this information can be incorporated into the project scope.
- Community activity timelines and protocols: Discuss the timelines of the project activities relative to traditional, cultural, or community activities, and how to ensure there is no conflict between activities. The Nation may need you to follow certain protocols (e.g., research protocols) when working in their area, so ensure you discuss any existing protocols they may have.
- Indigenous knowledge: Discuss opportunities to incorporate Indigenous knowledge into the project scope.
- Training opportunities: Discuss and determine First Nations training opportunities related to the project (e.g., electrofishing certification). Costs associated with First Nations training can be included as a budget line item in the project application.
- Employment opportunities: Discuss a preferred approach to hiring First Nations members and determine appropriate daily rates for First Nations (e.g., hiring members on an individual basis or hiring through the First Nation or a First Nation-owned company).
- Sharing project results: Regardless of the type of relationship you are establishing with First Nations, sharing projects results with First Nations community/communities is an important component to consider in your project. Discuss a preferred approach to meaningfully share project results with First Nations (e.g., sharing report, community presentation etc.).
- Type of relationship: FWCP encourages meaningful involvement of First Nations to strengthen and maintain relationships with First Nations. FWCP has defined four types of relationships with, or support by, First Nations. We expect grant applicants to discuss options for involvement with First Nations prior to finalizing and submitting your grant application:
- Project development support. A First Nation contributes to project development (e.g., Indigenous knowledge and values incorporated into scope) and implementation (e.g., First Nations have budgeted involvement in the project).
- Working relationship. Budgeted involvement in the project (e.g., First Nations technicians employed through the project).
- Financial or in-kind support. A First Nation contributes funds or in-kind services that increase the total value of the project.
- Support in principle. A First Nation provides a letter of support for the project, but is not directly involved in the project.