Facilitating the protection and restoration of species and ecosystems at risk on BC’s South Coast

First Nations

Species at Risk Conservation in Canada could not be successful without recognizing and integrating the perspectives and knowledge of Indigenous communities. SARA recognizes this explicitly by embedding a commitment to First Nations collaboration in the Act's preamble stating that “…the traditional knowledge of the aboriginal peoples of Canada should be considered in the assessment of which species may be at risk and in developing and implementing recovery measures.”


The SCCP recognizes this responsibility as part of its own work and continues to seek collaborative opportunities that respect and support the inclusion of experiences, wisdom and perspectives of the numerous Coast Salish communities of the South Coast. Sharing resources developed with, for and by First Nations on BC's South Coast is an evolving process that we seek to grow over time.


Below you will find a range of website and downloadable resources utilized and or developed by the SCCP, First Nations and various project partners over time. Content for resources developed by the SCCP and First Nations partners has been either commissioned or is used with exclusive permission.


We welcome website suggestions or resources!


Species Are Sacred A Stó:lō World View on Species At Risk in S'olh Téméxw (Fraser Valley): Oral traditions have been instrumental in forming and maintaining the foundation of Stó:lō/Coast Salish society. There has always been value in acknowledging the connection that elders have with their children and grandchildren, to experience the sharing of historical understanding through story, uniting past and present. Sharing history through oral society means expressing one's world view, which is a comprehensive, diverse perspective that balances the physical, spiritual and intellectual worlds. World view translates to a living knowledge of resources that reflects thousands of years of observation and connection. Prepared for the SCCP by Carrielynn Victor, an artist of Coast Salish and European ancestry. "Her First Nations roots are from the village of Cheam, Pilalt Tribe, of the Stó:lō Nation (“people of the river”). Carrielynn’s ancestral name is Xemontalot (KHum-un-ta-lot). This name ties her to the land and the people in the upper Fraser Valley. Through her visual artistry, Carrielynn brings traditional Stó:lō values to the subject of endangered species."







Katzie Eco-cultural Restoration Project: A key goal of the Katzie Eco-cultural Restoration Project is to re-introduce native plants, like wapato, to Katzie territory, and in doing so revitalize traditional harvesting practices to bring back these plants for food, medicine, and materials. The Katzie are working to engage the whole community in this effort, including youth and Elders.




Tsleil-Waututh: People of the Inlet - Burrard Inlet Action Plan: "The Action Plan is a leadership and coordinating document meant to identify priorities and help focus the region around a shared, strategic environmental stewardship agenda for Burrard Inlet. The Plan is a “living document” that will be updated and adapted over time in response to monitoring results and new information. While its initial focus is on marine waters, eventually a more comprehensive review will be necessary that incorporates both the marine waters and all contributing uplands."







nəw̓eyəɬ: Nature’s Gods (Nature’s Teachers) project - Surrey Nature Centre. For the Kwantlen First Nation, gods and teachers are the same thing. The rough translation of snəw̓eyəɬ is “sacred teachings,” but really, there is no hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ word for teaching, as it is a European concept (hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ is one of the Indigenous languages spoken in this region). The Kwantlen people believe the lessons we need to learn are simply there in the world around us.




Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre: The Squamish and Lil’wat Nations built the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre to house and showcase both their unique nations’ art, history and culture. The Centre’s purpose is to share our cultural knowledge and inspire understanding and respect amongst all people. Check out the Legends & Symbology page for stories and artwork on familiar wildlife.


Study: Traditional Knowledge and Endangered Species: An Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Protocol, including a community-based research methodology for communities to gather their own traditional knowledge on Nechako white sturgeon. The project was led by Ecotrust Canada's Knowledge Systems & Planning team, and was commissioned by the Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance (UFFCA). The project works to increase awareness of, and capacity to protect, ATK, and ensure its proper use in decision-making.










ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS Species at Risk Act Survival Guide: This Toolkit will assist you and your community through the SARA listing process and how it can impact your community or how your community can use SARA to protect species.
Assembly of First Nations Analysis of the Species at Risk Act Policies on the Conservation Cycle: In April 2010 the AFN appeared before the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development to make a submission on the legislated five year review of the Species At Risk Act. The analysis and recommendations made regarding the policy suite reflect the recommendations made before the standing committee.










National Aboriginal Council on Species at Risk Case Study on Consultation, Accommodation and Cooperation with Aboriginal Peoples: Focus on Boreal Woodland Caribou, Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon and American Eel; and Identification of Gaps and Suggestions to Increase the Level of Aboriginal Participation in the Species at Risk Act. Prepared by: Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council












IKANAWTIKET (ee-gone-aawh-dee-get) is an initiative of the Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council through the collaboration of the Native Council of Nova Scotia, the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council, the Native Council of PEI, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Gulf and Scotia Fundy Region), and Environment Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service) to serve as a regional Species at Risk focal point for Aboriginal Peoples residing on their Traditional Ancestral Homelands in the Maritimes.




Métis Nation and Species at Risk in Canada: The Métis National Council convened a National Environment Committee meeting in March 2011 for the five Governing Members of the Métis Nation: Métis Nation of Ontario, Manitoba Metis Federation, Métis Nation - Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Alberta, and the Métis Nation British Columbia to discuss a broad range of environmental issues facing the Homeland. The Committee, chaired by President Clément Chartier who is also Minister of Environment for the Métis National Council, is working with Environment Canada to ensure Métis involvement in assessment, protection, recovery planning, implementation plus monitoring & evaluation processes.









Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources: As a national First Nation directed environmental non-profit organization, our mission is to work in partnership with Indigenous nations to support and build sustainable Indigenous communities and a healthy environment.

See also, Species at Risk Act (SARA) – Legislation, process, and what it means for Aboriginal peoples





Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk: AFSAR was established in 2004-2005, supports the development of Indigenous capacity to participate actively in the implementation of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The protection of species at risk in Canada depends upon a meaningful collaboration with Indigenous Peoples and organizations.

First Voices: A suite of web-based tools and services designed to support Indigenous people engaged in language archiving, language teaching and culture revitalization. The South Coast is represented by two major language groups with a number of distinct dialects The most common language is Halq'eméylem (Halkomelem), a Coast Salish language with a number of dialects spoken by communities found in the Metro Vancouver/Fraser Valley/Howe Sound and Sunshine Coast regions. The second language is Ucwalmícwts, an Interior Salish language spoken by the Lil̓wat7úl (Líl̓wat) Nation of the interior coast mountains (Pemberton-Whistler).