In order to engage effectively in SARA, First Nations require capacity that will enable them to develop and assess the socio-economic costs and benefits with the listing and recovery strategies under SARA. (E.g. Lake Sturgeon, American Eel, loss of traditional diet, culture and socio-economic significance to First Nations) It is
equally important for First Nations engagement in the five-year review to ensure any proposed amendments to the existing legislation do not adversely infringe upon Aboriginal and Treaty rights related to aquatic resources.
1) Future areas for Discussion
- The “DFO Guidance on Considering ATK in SARA Implementation” document and regional workshops, AFN is requesting to assist in future meetings and drafting/analysis of DFO document;
- AFN made several recommendations in the 5yr review of SARA that included changing the wording of the preamble to ensure ATK does not enter the public domain and intellectual property rights are protected;
- SARA should be amended to include clauses that protect ATK and the development of a legal regime to protect ATK complete with civil and criminal sanctions. A significant recommendation was the creation of a First Nation specific advisory body under sections 9.1&9.2 of SARA.
- The SARA Conservation Policy Suite should include a separate policy on ATK.
- Register that First Nation would like to be involved in the drafting of regulations and policies required under SARA.
- AFN should participate at the Ministers Roundtable on SARA (there should be a MRT this year required under the Act, although it is EC event, SARA Aquatics are very important to First Nations.
It is recommended that the national coordinated approach continue to be supported throughout the scheduled SARA review that will provide additional capacity to allow First Nation discussions on related issues such as Aboriginal and Treaty rights, aboriginal traditional knowledge, compensation, and recovery strategies. For example, there are approximately fourteen sets of regulations that have yet to be drafted under SARA that will benefit from dialogue with First Nations. First Nations are interested in establishing a specific First Nation SARA Advisory Committee that can work with the Ministers and Canadian Endangered Species Conservation