Since 2003 when the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announced the creation of the Aboriginal Inland Habitat Program (AIHP), there has been confusion and uncertainty of the multi-jurisdictional roles and responsibilities with conservation and protection within the Inland areas.
In order for Aboriginal communities to effectively participate in various aspects of fisheries management and fish habitat protection, AFN invited DFO Conservation and Protection officers to provide an overview at the National Habitat Working group session on their roles within the provinces.
Conservation has always been at the forefront of First Nations resource management ethics but it is equally important to recognize that conservation must be shared equally and equitably. It can be agreed that all decisions must be made with solid data and facts when considering the future state of the fishery resources but First Nations must never carry disproportionate burden of conservation or unjustified enforcement. First Nations would like to continue engagement with the Conservation and Protection sectors to explore cooperative efforts and new approaches in policies that will benefit all.