Environment Canada

Environment Canada

October 15, 2009 12:16 ET

Government of Canada Provides Over $500,000 for Aboriginal Projects for Species at Risk in Western Canada

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Oct. 15, 2009) - Steven Fletcher, Minister of State for Democratic Reform, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister Jim Prentice and Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea, announced today $532,500 for twelve new projects in Western Canada. The projects will build capacity in Aboriginal organizations and communities and support their involvement in recovery actions and the protection of critical habitat for species at risk on Aboriginal lands. From this contribution, $281,500 was provided for 5 projects in Manitoba. This amount comes from the budget that the Government of Canada recently committed to the Aboriginal Funds for Species at Risk Program.

"The Government of Canada recognizes the important role Aboriginal people and communities have to play in conserving and restoring our natural environment. In the last four years, the Aboriginal Funds for Species at Risk supported 333 projects with a total funding of $10.2 million across the country. More than 250 species at risk benefited from these initiatives across Canada," said Minister of State Fletcher.

"I am very pleased to support the Aboriginal Funds for Species at Risk, along with Environment Canada. Investing in these dedicated aboriginal organizations that share our commitment to protecting Canadian species at risk is key to preserving our country's biodiversity", said Canada's Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Gail Shea.

Included amongst the twelve projects is the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources' (CIER) Manitoba Species at Risk Pathfinder Initiative. "The Aboriginal Funds for Species at Risk funding has enabled the CIER to assist 10 Manitoba First Nation communities to increase their knowledge about species at risk and build their capacity to undertake community-driven species at risk projects. This work is engaging First Nations communities, including leadership, Elders, and Youth in stewardship action for species at risk," said Merrell-Ann S. Phare, Executive Director and Legal Counsel of CIER.

"The Aboriginal Funds for Species at Risk Program is a concrete example of financial assistance aimed at supporting Aboriginal communities in Canada in projects targeting critical habitats of species at risk or rare plants. We are pleased to support the implementation of recovery strategies, for the benefit of species and Canadian society," said Canada's Minister of Environment Jim Prentice.

There are two components to the Aboriginal Funds for Species at Risk Program: the Aboriginal Critical Habitat Protection Fund and the Aboriginal Capacity Building Fund. The key objective of these funds is to encourage meaningful involvement of Aboriginal people and communities in the implementation of the Species at Risk Act (http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/approach/act/default_e.cfm).

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The federal Aboriginal Funds for Species at Risk play an important role in the recovery of species at risk on Aboriginal lands. The goal is to contribute to the conservation and protection of Canada's biodiversity by supporting species recovery planning, habitat protection, and overall conservation and capacity building initiatives by Aboriginal people in Canada. The key objective is to encourage meaningful involvement of Aboriginal people and communities in the implementation of the Species at Risk Act.

In the last four years, the Aboriginal Funds for Species at Risk supported 333 projects with total funding of $10.2 million. Across Canada over 250 species at risk have benefited from these initiatives, including:

- the threatened plains bison, the endangered Vancouver Island marmot and the special concern Columbia sculpin in British Columbia;

- the threatened ferruginous hawk and endangered piping plover circumcinctus subspecies on the Prairies;

- the threatened golden-winged warbler, endangered Eastern prairie fringed-orchid and the threatened lake sturgeon in Ontario;

- the threatened woodland caribou, and the endangered American ginseng in Quebec; and

- the endangered Blanding's turtle and the threatened thread-leaved sundew and North Atlantic right whale in Atlantic Canada.

For 2009-2010, funds totalling $3.3 million will be allocated to 105 projects. Over 90 First Nations, Inuit and Metis organizations or community groups (bands, tribes, councils, nations' alliance, societies, commissions, research centres, and associations) are directly involved in the projects being funded this year.

There are two Aboriginal Funds for Species at Risk, the Aboriginal Capacity Building Fund, which is designed to support Aboriginal organizations and communities across Canada in building capacity to enable their participation in the protection and recovery of species at risk, and the Aboriginal Critical Habitat Protection Fund, which supports the recovery and protection of important habitat on Aboriginal lands. The Funds are co-managed by Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Parks Canada Agency, with the cooperation of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Fisheries and Oceans Canada administers funds for aquatic projects and Environment Canada administers funds for terrestrial projects.

Further information on the Aboriginal Funds for Species at Risk, the Species at Risk Act, and Canada's Strategy for the Protection of Species at Risk, is available at: www.sararegistry.gc.ca.



Value of Federal
Project Title/Organization Contribution
(total value of
Development of SAR Database and related
capacity building within the Siksika First Nation /
Siksika Land Management $45,000
SAR: Woodland Caribou and Yellow Rail
Waterbirds / Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional
Council $40,000
09/10 Species at Risk Surveys and Monitoring in
Manitoba First Nations Communities / Centre for
Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) $50,000
90/10 Species at Risk Pathfinder Initiative/CIER $71,000
Sturgeon Conservation in the Community / Nelson
River Sturgeon Board $40,500
Incorporating Aboriginal traditional knowledge in
the WNO Strategy for species at risk / Waganong
Nakaygum Okimawin Secretariat $75,000
Support for Aboriginal participation at the Prairie
Conservation and Endangered Species
Conference / CIER $45,000
Implementation of Aboriginal engagement
strategy for SK SAR Pathfinder/Federation of SK
Indian Nations $36,000
Mapping Lake Sturgeon/Federation of
Saskatchewan Indian Nations $40,000
Northwest Territories
Metis Traditional Knowledge, Habitat Trends for
SAR/North Slave Metis Alliance $20,000
Traditional Ecological Knowledge of shortjaw
cisco and blackfin cisco in Great Slave
Lake/Yellowknives Dene FN $35,000
Inuit participation in training in Kivalliq
region/Nunavut Inuit Wildlife Secretariat $35,000

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Frederic Baril
    Press Secretary
    Environment Canada
    Media Relations
    Office of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Nancy Bishay
    Press Secretary