ABOUT US

The Island Marine Aquatic Working Group (IMAWG) is made up of 15 member First Nations, representing the three language areas on Vancouver Island: Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth and Kwakwaka’wakw. These areas encompass all First Nations on Vancouver Island, the adjacent mainland and Central Coast (up to and including Kitasoo).

MISSION, VISION, PURPOSE

OUR MISSION

With a united voice, IMAWG will support and restore all aspects of Indigenous fisheries, by taking an inclusive collaborative approach with all communities within Vancouver Island and Mainland Inlets, extending relations and partners. IMAWG will work strategically to advance Indigenous fisheries in relation to policy, traditional ecological knowledge, modern science, habitat, stewardship, protection and management.

OUR VISION

To strengthen and empower a unified approach for Indigenous fisheries, supporting ecosystems and respected rights ensuring food security and health for all communities and the next seven generations.

OUR PURPOSE

To facilitate Tier One and Tier Two forums for Indigenous to exchange and analyze information on fisheries management, build a unified voice, and to support bilateral discussions between Indigenous and Government.

STUCTURE

Island Marine Aquatic Working Group is a registered not-for-profit society. The IMAWG Committee follows under the guidance of the Board of Directors, and is accountable to First Nations members who attend Tier One and Tier Two meetings, for undertakings identified at Tier One meetings.

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BACKGROUND

IMAWG has been in existence since 2008 and is constructed of a selection of 15 First Nations members from around the Island. The primary focus of IMAWG is protecting the food, social and ceremonial rights of Nations based on Section 35(1) of the Constitution Action.

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TIER MEETINGS

Under the terms of an agreement signed between the BC AFN Vice President, and DFO in the 1980’s, DFO and First Nations confirmed that Tier One meetings include only First Nations and their technical advisors, and that Tier Two meetings include DFO and First Nations.

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WHAT DOES IMAWG DO?

IMAWG is responsible for delivering a number of activities currently under the terms of both an Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management (AAROM) Collaborative Management and a Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (PICFI) Agreement.

The activities are carried out to:

  • Assist Island and marine approach area First Nations in their communications with Fraser Watershed and North Coast First Nations on fisheries issues. Includes all marine species, as well as Fraser Salmon.
  • Assist Island and marine approach area First Nations to communicate among themselves, and develop positions and initiatives in regard to fisheries issues.
  • Assist Island and marine approach First Nations in understanding and interpreting information provided to them by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), particularly through the development of First Nations technical support.
  • Assist DFO in its communications with Island and marine approach First Nations on fisheries issues through distribution of information, and by participating in agenda creation and helping to organize Tier Two meetings.

COMMITTEE COMPOSITION

NOT FOR PROFIT

The IMAWG Committee follows under the guidance of the Board of Directors, and is accountable to First Nations who attend Tier One and Tier Two meetings, for undertakings identified at Tier One meetings. IMAWG operates under transparent bylaws and Constitution, and follows a Strategic Plan.

Strategic Plan 2020-2023 – Coming Soon

BACKGROUND

Please click a year to learn more the key events in our  journey.

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  • 2007

    Started as IFRAWG

    Started as IFRAWG

    November 1, 2007

    2007

    • Started as Island Fraser River and Approach Working Group (IFRAWG)
    • Funded under Fraser River Aboriginal Fisheries Secretariat (FRAFS) for Forum (AAROM)
  • 2010

    Changed to IMAWG

    Changed to IMAWG

    January 2, 2010

    2010

    • IFRAWG changed to IMAWG (Island Marine Aquatic Working Group)
    • Funded under A-Tlegay Fisheries
  • 2012

    Participation in Roadmap

    Participation in Roadmap

    January 1, 2012

    2012

    • Started Island specific Tier One and Tier Two
    • Species: salmon, crab, clam, herring, prawn and halibut with participation in “Roadmap”
  • 2013

    PICFI Funding for Biologists

    PICFI Funding for Biologists

    January 15, 2013

    2013

    • PICFI funding for biologists
    • Council of Ha’wiih Partnership
    • First Nations Fisheries Council Partnership
    • Management Action Tracker
    • Constitution and Bylaws created
    • Annual planning started
  • 2014

    Incorporation as a Society

    Incorporation as a Society

    January 15, 2014

    2014

    • Incorporation as a Society
    • Board of Directors
    • First Strategic Plan
    • Hired two P/T biologists
    • Island Marine Aquatic Technical Working Group created (IMAT)
    • Funded under Qualicum First Nation and Mama’omas Limited Partnership
  • 2015

    Supported the Fraser Salmon Management Council transition

    Supported the Fraser Salmon Management Council transition

    January 15, 2015

    2015

    • Supported the Fraser Salmon Management Council transition
    • Regional Engagement with BC Indigenous Organisations
    • Social Media and Newsletters
    • Professional Meeting Minutes
  • 2016

    Cultural Relationship Workshop Started

    Cultural Relationship Workshop Started

    January 15, 2016

    2016

    • Annual Cultural Relationship Workshop with DFO started
    • IMAWG President and DFO Area Director Quarterly Meetings
    • Annual Data Management Workshop started
    • Funding independent; supported by Board of Directors and Accounting Team
  • 2017

    Annual Governance Workshop Started

    Annual Governance Workshop Started

    January 1, 2017

    2017

    • Annual Governance Workshop with DFO started
    • Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance partnership
    • Creation of Operational Guidelines with DFO
    • Action Planning Meetings (Post Tier Two) started
    • Meeting report cards started
  • 2018

    Tier Three & Pacific Salmon Commission participation as Observer

    Tier Three & Pacific Salmon Commission participation as Observer

    January 1, 2018

    2018

    • Tier Three participation as Observer
    • Pacific Salmon Commission, Fraser River Technical as Observer
    • Action Planning Summaries to replace redundant Tier letter process
  • 2019

    Access and Allocation Framework

    Access and Allocation Framework

    January 15, 2019

    2019

    • Access and Allocation Framework Process to Engage to DFO
    • Reconciliation Workshop
    • Development of a new Strategic Plan
    • Increased Continuity of IMAWG Members
    • Potential expansion of program