Fraser Salmon Management Council
The overall goal of FRAFS is to assist Fraser River First Nations with developing a meaningful role with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in the management of Fraser salmon We assist DFO in its communications with Fraser First Nations on fisheries issues. Our role is to ensure these communities are supported in understanding and interpreting information provided to them, and to assist their leadership and organizations to communicate amongst themselves to develop positions and provide advice to DFO in regards to fisheries issues.
The FRAFS Executive Committee (EC) is the management body that provides direction to the Secretariat as a whole and is accountable for meeting the terms of the DFO Collaborative Management Agreement (CMA). The FRAFS EC is made up of six Indigenous members who form the First Nations Caucus, plus a long standing Independent Indigenous Chairperson, and two Aboriginal Affairs Advisors (AAA) from DFO. The Indigenous delegates are chosen to be inclusive of representation along the Fraser Basin, including two representatives each from the Lower, Mid, and Upper Fraser Basins. The administrative support consists of a part-time Operations Manager (Greg Witzky) and a full-time Communications Coordinator (Allison James). More detailed information can be found on the website (www.frafs.ca).
FRAFS has contract biologists that work tirelessly to support and inform us on almost everything concerning fisheries and salmon management decisions. They also help to analyze and interpret complex fisheries management policies, initiatives and decisions that flow from DFO.
- The long-term health and sustainability of Fraser River salmon stocks.
- To preserve and protect Fraser River salmon in a way that celebrates their uniqueness and preserves the FN way of life.
- A shared responsibility for the collaborative planning and management of fisheries.
- Work that will benefit Fraser River salmon and all FN who benefit from the resource.
New and Exciting in the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year:
On July 5th, 2019 the Fraser Salmon Management Council president signed the long awaited FSMC Collaborative Management Agreement with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). The purpose being to take 50% control over Fraser salmon fisheries management decisions, in collaboration with DFO. No longer just offering advice and recommendations because shared decision-making authority was achieved. Not since the inception of DFO over 100 years ago has this happened.
On July 1st, 2019 FRAFS negotiated a government to government to government collaborative decision making role in the Big Bar Landslide Unified Command Incident Management Team and on the Joint Executive Steering Committee (JESC). The purpose being to involve First Nations in the decision-making processes required to coordinate and initiate emergency incident response activities.
On July 9th, 2019 a First Nations Leadership Panel (FNLP) was formed, and chaired by FRAFS, to provide advice and decision-making (via consensus) for incident response activities and recovery options.
FRAFS / FSMC will continue to play an important decision-making role as the Landslide incident pivots from an emergency to an urgent incident project over the winter months. Gord Sterritt (JESC Representative), Greg Witzky (Incident Commander) and Allison James (Incident Communications) have participated from the beginning and will carry on doing so until told different.
- The FSMC conducts most of its decision-making at the Assembly. The Assembly is a gathering of all Member Delegates. The nine-person Main Table is responsible for the day-to-day management decisions of the organization.
The objective of the FSMC is to prepare for, negotiate and implement an agreement for the joint management of Fraser River salmon. (Constitution)
KEY ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:
In addition to assisting DFO in its consultations & communications with Fraser River First Nations on fisheries management issues the FRAFS also assists Fraser River First Nations in understanding and interpreting information provided to them by DFO. Fraser River First Nations communicate among themselves and develop positions and recommendations in regard to fisheries management issues. Other key activities involve communications with DFO, coordinating biologist’s workplans and organizing 3 large annual forums for Harvest and Conservation Planning of Fraser salmon. FRAFS is currently being absorbed into the FSMC mandated decision-making process. This much awaited activity has been the goal from the onset of FRAFS in 1994.
FRAFS administers the budget for the Fraser Salmon Management Council (FSMC) which is coordinated by a part time Operations Manager (Neil Todd). The FSMC is a Tier 1 (First Nations only) mandated governance body involved in negotiations with DFO to implement a newly signed Collaborative Management Agreement between the two parties to address Fraser River salmon fisheries management decision making processes.
- Executive Committee Chairperson
- 3 Biologists
- Operations Manager
- Communications Coordinator
Fraser River Basin First Nations and Fisheries and Oceans Canada