Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is still in the process of developing a Species at Risk Act (SARA) in partnership with a Federal Grizzly Bear Management Plan. It will be completed through collaboration with Indigenous Peoples and the province of B.C. The hope is to engage with local Indigenous communities and learn more about their historical and ongoing relationship with the Grizzly Bear population.
The management plan has been in the works since 2020. However, it is taking a new approach to protecting the species. “We acknowledge that we need to take a different approach from the past to including Indigenous Knowledge in recovery documents,” says Randal Lake, Unit Head of Regulatory Affairs for ECCC.
“And with the Grizzly Bear Management Plan, we would like to try new things, working towards co-developing methods and tools that will enhance our shared work for the benefit of Grizzly Bear and perhaps other species at risk.” Lake also says this may provide insight for protecting other species at risk in the future.
ECCC is proposing future workshops for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis populations to share their knowledge in best preserving and protecting grizzlies.
Three workshops will be executed, asking two key questions to participants: “1) How do human actions and natural factors in Canada affect Grizzly Bears currently, in the past or in the future? and 2) What actions by individuals and communities are needed in a management plan that would create a more respectful understanding toward being good stewards for Grizzly Bears?”
Indigenous Peoples within the Columbia Valley are encouraged to participate. Those interested in doing so can complete an online form at https://forms.gle/StRSDXP4gX5z8YoB6.
Haley Grinder, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer