AAROM - Statement of Interest - Collaborative Management

Table of contents


The Collaborative Management (CM) Statement of Interest (SOI) application will be used to determine the eligibility of applicants for participation in the CM component of the AAROM Program and in affirming the expressed areas of interest of a potential AAROM CM body. However, applicants may be referred to the Capacity Building (CB) component of the Program to address identified gaps following a formal review of the CM SOI by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).

Program Highlights 

The AAROM Program will apply in areas where DFO manages the fishery, and with Aboriginal groups that have not yet signed a comprehensive land claims agreement that addresses the matters under AAROM. Where the Aboriginal group has signed a comprehensive land claims agreement, and one or more of the matters covered by the AAROM Program are not dealt with in the agreement, the group would be eligible to apply for support in those matters not covered in the agreement.

There are a number of sub-components to AAROM CM. These include:  I) the development of an AAROM collaborative management body and supporting infrastructure; II) an Aboriginal Fishery Officer (AFO) initiative; and III) an Economic Opportunities sub-component to support developmental opportunities related to commercial fisheries access and/or aquaculture. Funding for the AAROM Program will be via contribution agreements, and subject to concurrence among the signatory parties of final implementation details, including the level of funding, approved elements may be included as part of a possible future AAROM contribution agreement with DFO. Amounts may require adjustment based on the availability of funds and relative capacity of groups. If an applicant group does not meet the eligibility requirements for the CM component of the AAROM Program, the application may be approved for the capacity development component of AAROM (a new application is not required).

As well, Collaborative Management funding may be provided to Aboriginal groups for broad national/regional or sectoral initiatives which may impact multiple "AAROM organizations" subject to approval by DFO. These groups would act as a vehicle for coordinating the input of multiple AAROM organizations into broader management and planning processes.

Getting the Support You Need

Each application must be sponsored by a DFO regional / area representative having sufficient knowledge of the applicant(s). Dedicated DFO staff in the regions have been assigned to provide guidance and assistance to groups in the development of their SOIs. Officers will be available to review and discuss the information provided in SOIs with applicants prior to the submission of their SOIs for formal regional and national consideration by DFO. Please contact the respective official(s) in your region:
Newfoundland & Labrador Maritimes
Patricia Williams
Resource Manager
Aboriginal Programs and Relations
Resource Management
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre
80 East White Hills
PO Box 5667
St John's, NL  A1C 5X1
Telephone: 709-772-3732
Fax: 709-772-3628
E-mail: Patricia.Williams@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Tom Howe
Co-Management Development Officer
Aboriginal Fisheries Branch
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Marine House - Floor: Basement
PO Box 1035
Dartmouth, NS  B2Y 4T3
Telephone: 902-426-6036
Fax: 902-426-1484
E-mail: Tom.Howe@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Gulf Quebec
Tracey Isaac-Mann Crosby
Co-Management Development Officer
Aboriginal Fisheries
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
GFC - Room: 461
Gulf Fisheries Centre 343 Université Avenue
PO Box 5030
Moncton, NB    E1C 9B6
Telephone: 506-851-7785
Fax: 506-851-7803
E-mail: Tracey.IsaacMannCrosby@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Robert Fibich
Aboriginal Fisheries Division
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
104 Dalhousie Street
Québec, QC    G1K 7Y7
Telephone: 418-648-4566
Fax: 418-648-7981
E-mail: Robert.Fibich@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Central & Arctic Pacific
Anna Ryan
Fishery Management Coordinator
Resource Management and Aboriginal Affairs
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
501 University Crescent
Winnipeg, Manitoba    R3T 2N6
Telephone: 204-983-8958
Fax: 204-984-3073
E-mail: Anna.Ryan@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Todd Johansson 
Regional Negotiator
Treaty and Aboriginal Policy Directorate
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Suite 200 401 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC    V6C 3S4
Telephone: 604-666-7998
E-mail: Todd.Johansson@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Formal Assessment Process

Once assessed for quality and completeness (e.g., having the required signatures, etc.), regional representatives will forward the completed SOI(s) to his/her respective DFO regional review committee responsible for providing an appropriate level of oversight and coordination. Further amendment to applications may be recommended following this initial screening phase. Approved SOI applications will then be submitted for formal review and assessment by a National DFO Program Implementation Steering Committee. Applications will be assessed against overall program objectives and criteria. Once a decision has been taken, applicants will be formally apprised of the status of their applications in writing.

Using this Template

There are three major sections to this template:  A) Applicant Eligibility Information; B) Project Proposal; and C) Signatures. After each major and sub-section, spacing is provided for Notes. The template can serve as a guide to applicants in structuring their SOI applications. Within your respective SOIs, this same division should be made apparent to the reader/reviewer in order to ensure a proper assessment is conducted. Supporting documentation may also be provided as an attachment.

A. Application Eligibility Information 

Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the eligibility requirements of the Program. Applicants should also be aware that associated contribution agreements will be subject to groups maintaining their eligibility status throughout the duration of the agreement.

Who is applying? 

Please provide the following:

Note: the recipient organization is the lead organization responsible for receiving and managing the funds under a possible future agreement; the organization must be a legal entity.

Recipient Organization:

Mailing Address

Tel No(s):
Facsimile No(s):
E-mail Address(es):

Lead Contact(s):

Mailing Address (if different from above):
Tel No(s):
Facsimile No(s):
E-mail Address(es):


Mailing Address (if different from above)
Tel No(s):
Facsimile No(s):
E-mail Address(es):

Member Communities and Affiliated Aboriginal Groups: level of representation must be reflective of a majority of Aboriginal groups/First Nations residing in the intended management area so as to achieve needed economies of scale; membership must be formalized and verifiable

Please provide details on the following:

  • Cultural / historical significance of the affiliated group
  • Role or mandate of lead (recipient) organization vis-à-vis the larger affiliation
  • List of Aboriginal communities/groups signatory to this SOI
  • Current status on expansion of membership to other Aboriginal communities
  • Approximate resident population of signatory communities/groups (per unit, if available)
  • Level of Aboriginal representation from targeted watershed/ecosystem in this SOI

Geographic Parameters: management area must be defined along broad watershed / ecosystem lines and of sufficient size to contribute to achieving economies of scale

Please provide details on the following:

  • Province
  • Region
  • Targeted watershed(s) / ecosystem(s)
  • Approximate geographic size (sq.km.) of watershed(s) / ecosystem(s)
  • Description of management area(s) and relative importance to group
  • Distinctive ecosystem factors
  • Supporting map/documentation

Reporting History: must demonstrate a track record of complying with federal reporting requirements in this area and agree to transparently account to community members and member-communities on monies to be received and how they are put to use

Please provide details on the following:

  • Historical trends in and existing financial and administrative reporting relationship with DFO (if applicable)
  • Current in-house reporting/agreement management capacity (administrative infrastructure)
  • Ability to manage financial risks
  • Planned and existing mechanisms for reporting activities and results to community members
  • Summary of recent audits and results (if applicable) and corrective measures implemented
  • Supporting references to prior development / use of audit and evaluation frameworks, if any

Commitment to Conservation and Sustainable Resource Use: documentation of prior and intended management actions that demonstrate a commitment to the core principles of conservation and sustainable development; additional consideration will be given to existing resource management plans where these are in place

Please provide details on the following:

  • Scope of involvement in aquatic management activities (historic/current)
  • Initiation of recent innovations or creative developments supporting conservation
  • Existing fish/watershed/ecosystem management plans
  • Involvement and trends in enforcement (surveillance, compliance and protection)
  • Conservation statement (draft or approved) governing affiliated member communities/groups


B. Project Proposal

The following section is provided as a guide to applicants in developing their project proposals for application to AAROM CM and in further defining the objectives, mandate and functions of their AAROM collaborative management structures or bodies.

First, what you should know..... 

AAROM is intended to provide Aboriginal groups with the capacity and tools required to support their effective participation and engagement with DFO and others in aquatic resource and oceans management. AAROM is also focused on supporting the engagement of Aboriginal groups at a broad watershed / ecosystem management level - a level at which a certain commonality of issues can be derived and where decisions and solutions are based rather on the collective and integrated knowledge generated at the system level. It supports Aboriginal groups interested in working together toward the sustainable management and use of their local watersheds and ecosystems through facilitating the development of Aboriginal aquatic resource and oceans management institutions or structures (i.e., AAROM bodies / organizations).

Given the complex nature of modern fisheries/oceans management and the myriad of processes, policies and initiatives led by DFO and others, the challenge for AAROM organizations will be in prioritizing and defining what is an appropriate role and structure for their organization within this broader framework that is both relevant and supportive of their member-communities. In the end, how groups choose to structure themselves will be key in terms of their credibility but also their durability. At minimum, consideration should be given to putting in place a core professional, technically-proficient infrastructure that will allow the group to engage effectively with other public management interests. AAROM organizations should look to their communities for direction and advice, and inform themselves of the management issues faced by their member-communities day-to-day and seek creative or innovative ways of addressing these. Groups may also wish to examine the existing capacity held at the community level to identify opportunities for greater synergy among their member-communities in terms of existing efforts. Revitalization of existing programming should be targeted toward maximizing the use of available resources and in furthering the DFO-Aboriginal relationship more generally at all levels. AAROM organizations should ensure that they are willing and prepared to assume a lead role in the conservation, management and enhancement of their watershed / ecosystem and will need to rely on their member-communities to create a safe place for them to do so. AAROM organizations should also be cognizant of the time and commitment required in effecting a new watershed / ecosystem management regime, and the challenges that may lie ahead in terms of restoring and affirming a critical role for themselves and their member-communities within that. With respect to the developmental or CB phase of AAROM, the primary focus of dialogue among groups should be on achieving consensus on a long-term strategic management and capacity building strategy for the organization which will translate into the development of a full AAROM Collaborative Management proposal and, if approved, subsequent multi-year AAROM CM agreement with DFO.

How this next section is organized

The programming offered under AAROM Collaborative Management is multi-faceted and multi-layered. Therefore, it was essential that the template be reflective of this, giving applicants a clear path to follow in terms of structuring their project proposals. The following section is broken down as follows:

I. Collaborative Management - General

The following list of Allowable Activities is provided as a point of reference to assist groups in developing their proposals. As the application of the Program is expected to differ from group-to-group and from one area to another, it is intended to demonstrate the broad range of potential activities that may be considered by groups in setting management priorities for their respective AAROM organizations. Within a multi-year proposal, the scope of activities should not remain static and may differ or evolve over time (as may the nature of their relationship with DFO/others). The evaluation of proposals will also consider groups' (as represented by the applicant) ability to set realistic priorities and timelines.

I.A. Allowable Activities

The list of allowable activities for CM - General include:

  • establishing  AAROM collaborative management structures or AAROM bodies;
  • accessing skilled professional, administrative and technical expertise from within the Aboriginal community or other external sources (excluding public office holders);
  • participating in various government technical committees and other multi-stakeholder fora;
  • collaborating in scientific research efforts related to aquatic resource and oceans management;
  • participating in and providing input to various aquatic and oceans resource policy and management processes;
  • developing or providing input into the development of models, structures and processes to guide the interactions between Aboriginal groups participating in the AAROM body;
  • developing or providing input into the development of models, structures and processes to guide the interactions of external bodies and agencies with the respective Aboriginal group;
  • participating in aquatic resource and oceans management planning - through development of resource and oceans management plans and coordination of community input into the development of plans;
  • undertaking scientific research activities to support appropriate watershed / ecosystem-based management efforts, including the collection and gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK);
  • undertaking research, monitoring and related activities in support of sustainable aquaculture;
  • developing protocols on ATK - dealing with new and innovative approaches to collect, analyze and integrate this information into environmental and habitat assessments and management practices; and
  • developing, implementing and monitoring AAROM capacity building strategies;
  • developing enforcement capacity (including Aboriginal Fishery Officers (AFOs), multi-disciplinary conservation officers as well as the upgrading of skills of Aboriginal Guardians, restorative justice initiatives);
  • planning and holding consultation sessions with member communities on AAROM-related issues;
  • conducting community outreach, stewardship and awareness activities;
  • conducting liaison activities with other relevant/interested parties;
  • ongoing program planning, administration and reporting activities of the AAROM Collaborative Management body;
  • negotiation and implementation of related AAROM agreements (and associated protocols) for which DFO is a signatory;
  • other potential activities related to DFO's mandate.

1.B. Details Required in Structuring Your Project Proposal

Management framework for the establishment of a professional watershed/ecosystem management body (the following activities should have been developed/completed under the capacity development phase of AAROM):

  • Type of governing body
  • Organizational structure including management board(s)
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Mission / vision / mandate statement(s)
  • Terms of reference(s)
  • Relationship to other governing bodies/infrastructures as well as to member communities
  • Relationship to and anticipated level of interaction with other management processes (e.g., multi-stakeholder, etc.)
  • Staffing policies and procedures
  • References to existing collective agreements, employee benefit plans, etc.
  • General operational policies, guidelines and procedures

Type of "core" capacity targeted for development:

Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge
Fish Harvesting
Facilitation and Dispute Resolution
Human Resource
General Administration
Proposal Writing
Economic & Strategic Planning

The type of capacity should be linked to the following subject areas including, for example, fisheries management, habitat management, oceans management, scientific research, aquaculture management and other subject areas pertaining to DFO's mandate.

  • General direction (objectives and rationale)
  • Capacity assessment summary/report (include description of staff requirements, and strategies to maximize the use of existing resources)
  • Associated capacity development plans and strategies (training and/or mentoring)
  • Relationship to existing infrastructure (interim management body and member communities/groups)

Profile of AAROM collaborative management body (by fiscal year):

  • Details of core capacity versus incremental capacity year over year
  • Position requirements and associated funding levels
  • Supporting physical infrastructure (operational / technical requirements - e.g., office equipment)
  • Planned salary and operating budget by fiscal year
  • Supplemental funding - sources, level and type (e.g., self, AFS, other partners)
  • Cash flow statement

Detailed action plan / workplan :

  • Targeted Areas of Activity (may be different or evolving year-over-year, should be linked to the list of allowable activities)
  • Major anticipated milestones, achievements, etc.
  • Related Timelines

Reporting, audit and evaluation strategies/plans:

  • Objectives / deliverables
  • Performance indicators
  • Performance measures
  • Data sources and requirements
  • Evaluation mechanisms and timelines
  • Reporting mechanisms and timelines
  • Audit plan


II. Aboriginal Fishery Officer (sub-component)

The Aboriginal Fishery Officer (AFOs) initiative is a sub-component of Collaborative Management (CM). An extensive commitment is required on the part of AAROM organizations interested in pursuing this sub-component of CM, and will require significant coordination with DFO as well as C&P staff. As such, it is not envisioned that this option will be pursued by every AAROM group. The long-term objective of this initiative is for Aboriginal groups to have established their respective enforcement regimes (e.g., appropriate command-and-control structures) and AFO cadre, where AFOs are extended full powers and authority as DFO Fishery Officers but are employed and housed by the host organization. Interested groups must meet separate eligibility requirements for this sub-component of CM. Determinant factors may include the following: existing enforcement capacity, prior compliance history, likelihood of success (short and long-term), costs relative to enforcement objectives and achieving a balance with other objectives of the Program.

As a sub-component of Collaborative Management, there are two options available to groups: 1) that AFOs be DFO-trained and employed, but deployed to Aboriginal groups under DFO command and control; and 2) that they be DFO-trained and employed by the Aboriginal group under an appropriate Aboriginal command-and-control structure, where these are in place and as recognized by DFO.

For this AFO sub-component of collaborative management, the following details are required:

  • General direction (short-term and long-term enforcement objectives)
  • Preferred option (DFO-employee status or full deployment of AFOs to Aboriginal organization)
  • Existing command-and-control structure, if any
  • Management and operational plans and procedures
  • Details on and relationship to existing enforcement capacity
  • Draft enforcement policy and/or protocol or models
  • Position descriptor
  • Procedures for the selection and assessment of candidates
  • Documentation attesting to level of certification by DFO and/or other enforcement agencies
  • Existing arrangements with other enforcement agencies
  • Plans for liaison with other agencies
  • Evaluation and reporting plans and procedures
  • Budget plan


III. Economic Opportunities (sub-component)

There are two separate elements under Collaborative Management (CM) to assist groups in achieving an appropriate balance between the economic and management objectives of their AAROM organization while contributing to their self-sustainability over time - commercial fisheries access and aquaculture. Interested groups must meet separate eligibility requirements for the Economic Opportunities sub-components of CM. Determinant factors may include the following: existing holdings/level(s) of access, the availability and sustainability of licences, the rate of success of existing operations and the potential for success of the future operations as well as the overall quality of the proposal(s) and supporting documentation (e.g., business plans, description of access and benefit sharing arrangements). While the management and general oversight of licences may occur at the AAROM level, the applicant will also need to provide details on the procedures for the assignment or rotation of licences among its member-communities and for the designation of fishers. Alternatively, access, if any, will be determined and assigned by DFO.

III.A. Allowable Activities

As an extension of the Collaborative Management component, funding may be provided for the following activities:

  • facilitating the retirement and transfer of access from diverse fisheries (i.e., licences, quota, vessels and gear) as a communal benefit to Aboriginal groups;
  • accessing aquaculture opportunities, including research and monitoring activities; and
  • developing and implementing fish harvesting and aquaculture-related training and mentoring programs, and associated training plans;
  • undertaking planning activities in support of fisheries-related economic opportunities.

III.B. Access

For the Economic Opportunities - Access sub-component of CM, the following details are required:

  • General direction (short and long-term objectives and targets, management intentions, etc.)
  • Details on and relationship to existing fish harvesting capacity
  • Business case/plan
  • Feasibility studies
  • Access/benefit-sharing/investment plan
  • Partnering / leveraging plan
  • Capacity building/restructuring strategies and/or objectives
  • Evaluation and reporting plans and procedures

III.C. Aquaculture

For the Economic Opportunities - Aquaculture sub-component of CM, the following details are required:

  • General direction (short and long-term objectives and targets, management intentions, etc.)
  • Details on and relationship to existing aquaculture capacity
  • Business case/plan
  • Feasibility studies
  • Access/benefit-sharing/investment plan
  • Partnering / leveraging plan
  • Capacity building/restructuring strategies and/or objectives
  • Evaluation and reporting plans and procedures

C. Signatures

Declaration (Each Applicant must sign and date this statement of Interest. - Applicants must be mandated as representatives of their communities)

Aboriginal Group
Representative (Please Print)

Supporting Statement

(Rationale for participation in the program; Broad goals and objectives of the proposed AAROM body; Early identification of areas of interest; Anticipated short-term challenges; self-assessment of readiness - Whether group anticipates the need for further capacity building support beyond 2004-05)