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What is an AAROM Department?

AAROM departments are Indigenous-led organizations providing Western and Indigenous scientific and technical services in areas such as: fisheries, aquatic resources, ocean science, aquaculture, habitat monitoring and restoration, geo-mapping, forestry, climate change monitoring and adaptation and land management.

AAROM departments are usually formed around a watershed, and are staffed by biologists, field technicians, and other experts who conduct research, assessments and field work to assist member communities and partners.

Through Indigenous-led collaborative management forums, AAROM departments exchange information about their fisheries and resource management activities. Furthermore, they provide educational opportunities and outreach programming to Indigenous youth and communities in order to increase Indigenous knowledge but also create careers for Indigenous people within a wide range of environmental sciences and management fields.

AAROM departments are independent Indigenous organizations who receive support through the Aboriginal Aquatic Resources Oceans Management (AAROM) program from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). The work is performed to represent the needs and interests of member nations.

Where are AAROM Departments located?

There are 33 AAROM Departments working in watershed areas across the country.


in British-Colombia


in the Yukon


in the Northwest Territories


National organization


In Atlantic Canada and Southern Quebec

View the interactive map

Why Partner with an AAROM Department?

The AAROM program is a valuable and largely ‘untapped’ resource. Its network of Indigenous groups has the expertise and capacity to deliver in-the-field science and cutting-edge technical services across Turtle Island’s marine and fish-bearing waterways. This will inform better decision making but also forge meaningful and respectful relationships between the Department and Indigenous communities.

You can work with AAROM departments as partners or through contractual agreements on watershed, regional, and provincial level projects such as:

  • Bridging Indigenous and Western knowledge and ways of knowing (Two-Eyed Seeing);
  • Project management and planning;
  • Habitat assessment, monitoring and restoration;
  • Conducting research;
  • Providing scientific and technical advice;
  • Leading education and outreach initiatives; and
  • Creating and implementing youth engagement and youth programs.

AAROM departments have collaboration experience with a range of sectors including:

  • Indigenous organizations, such as Tribal Councils.
  • Governments:
    • Federal departments such as Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Indigenous Services Canada, and Parks Canada
    • Provincial, territorial and municipal governments
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
  • Academic institutions.
  • Canadian industries.

Where there is collaboration, there is strength.