Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management program renewal
In May 2018, the Indigenous Program Review Panel released its phase one report. This included practical recommendations for improving the Aboriginal Aquatic Resource And Oceans Management (AAROM) program and its administration, along with broader guidance on areas for advancing collaboration between AAROM organizations and the entire Department (i.e., from science activities in the field to how Indigenous knowledge can inform decision-making), including steps to increase the ability of the Department to utilize and further support the technical expertise and capacity of AAROM organizations.
A number of these recommendations were particularly important when considering the overall design of the program and the need to renew and add new program elements. These recommendations include:
- Expand the network to geographic areas that are not served by a group
- Raise awareness and promote the AAROM group services and network
- Ensure timely funding, annual planning cycles and consistent reporting
- Standardize contribution agreements and their terms and conditions
- Invest in Indigenous knowledge systems and enable networking opportunities among groups to learn from best practices
- Establish an Indigenous-led management committee similar to those used in the commercial programs to oversee project proposals, program delivery, and reporting
The final report from the Indigenous Program Review will be released in early 2019. DFO has already begun implementing some of the recommendations, including efforts to expand the AAROM network to cover major gaps and to promote the AAROM network and collaboration between AAROM departments.
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