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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Please click a year to learn more the key events in our journey.
Started as IFRAWG
Started as IFRAWGNovember 1, 2007
- Started as Island Fraser River and Approach Working Group (IFRAWG)
- Funded under Fraser River Aboriginal Fisheries Secretariat (FRAFS) for Forum (AAROM)
Changed to IMAWG
Changed to IMAWGJanuary 2, 2010
- IFRAWG changed to IMAWG (Island Marine Aquatic Working Group)
- Funded under A-Tlegay Fisheries
Participation in Roadmap
Participation in RoadmapJanuary 1, 2012
- Started Island specific Tier One and Tier Two
- Species: salmon, crab, clam, herring, prawn and halibut with participation in “Roadmap”
PICFI Funding for Biologists
PICFI Funding for BiologistsJanuary 15, 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
Incorporation as a Society
Incorporation as a SocietyJanuary 15, 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
Supported the Fraser Salmon Management Council transition
Supported the Fraser Salmon Management Council transitionJanuary 15, 2015
- Supported the Fraser Salmon Management Council transition
- Regional Engagement with BC Indigenous Organisations
- Social Media and Newsletters
- Professional Meeting Minutes
Cultural Relationship Workshop Started
Cultural Relationship Workshop StartedJanuary 15, 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
Annual Governance Workshop Started
Annual Governance Workshop StartedJanuary 1, 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
Tier Three & Pacific Salmon Commission participation as Observer
Tier Three & Pacific Salmon Commission participation as ObserverJanuary 1, 2018
- Tier Three participation as Observer
- Pacific Salmon Commission, Fraser River Technical as Observer
- Action Planning Summaries to replace redundant Tier letter process
Access and Allocation Framework
Access and Allocation FrameworkJanuary 15, 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