Aroland First Nation
Sturgeon Conservation: AFSAR
Ogoki Falls and Amy Falls in the Albany River watershed are considered highly important areas for Aroland First Nation; it is where community members have carried out traditional activities such as fishing since time immemorial. These waters once hosted a thriving population of Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens), which is now designated threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). Many community members grew concerned for the Lake Sturgeon population and decided to apply for an Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR) grant to investigate the factors influencing Lake Sturgeon decline.
With funding from AFSAR, they created the Aroland Lake Sturgeon Management Plan, including an baseline status assessment of Lake Sturgeon population, health, and genetic diversity, as well as basic hydrology measurements, water depths, and habitat concerns. The Aroland Lake Sturgeon Documentary was also created to document traditional knowledge and build capacity within the community to better understand the project and threats related to Lake Sturgeon conservation and management. Our team partnered with Aroland First Nation to interview knowledgeable community members and produce the documentary.
Our consultants worked closely with Aroland in their application for an AFSAR grant. In doing so, we provided support on project design and development as well as grant writing and negotiation strategy.
Overall, this project provided a range of benefits for the community. Funding from AFSAR catalyzed the development of the Lake Sturgeon Management Plan, provided community research technicians with experience undertaking fisheries assessments and contributed to a culture of community-led conservation initiatives. The Aroland Lake Sturgeon Documentary provides a means of expressing and preserving community elders’ traditional knowledge of the Lake Sturgeon population within their territory. It can be shared with future generations, neighbouring communities, and proponents considering future development opportunities within Aroland territories to build an awareness and understanding of the community’s history, culture, and connection to the fish of the Ogoki River.
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