$50 Million Funding to support Indigenous Communities for conserving Fish and its Habitat

To mark Indigenous History Month, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced $50 million in funding over five years for the new Indigenous Habitat Participation Program (IHPP) to support Indigenous communities in the conservation of fish and fish habitat.

For millennia, Indigenous peoples have been responsible stewards of the land and water, guided by the knowledge that all living things are interconnected and that environmental degradation affects the health and well-being of us all.

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The Government of Canada continues to strengthen their relationships with Indigenous peoples across Canada and are working every day to foster a model of shared stewardship to improve Indigenous involvement in fisheries and oceans management.

Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson said, “Protecting our land, water and air is a top priority of our government. The new Indigenous Habitat Participation Program will help ensure that Indigenous communities can work with the Government of Canada to provide guidance and advice to protect our environment and fish while we implement the new, modern Fisheries Act.”

This new national program will provide financial resources to support collaboration in decision-making, planning, management, conservation, protection, monitoring and data collection as it relates to fish and fish habitat.

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This announcement complements the recent launch of the new Northern Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative which was informed by a two-year comprehensive review of our Indigenous programs. Moving forward the Department will be co-developing, co-designing, co-delivering Indigenous programs.

This means reinvesting in programs and redesigning them alongside Indigenous peoples who best understand what is required to build capacity within their communities and institutions.

The funding for the Indigenous Habitat Participation Program is part of an investment of $284.2 million over five years announced in Budget 2018 to support the restoration of fish and fish habitat.

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Funding for the Program will be provided through contributions and grants to Indigenous participants. A call for proposals for the contributions and grants components of the program will be launched in the coming weeks.