About the Gwich'in Renewable
The Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board (GRRB)
was established under the guidance of the Gwich’in
Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement (GCLCA) to be the main
instrument of wildlife, fish and forest management in the Gwich'in
Settlement Area (GSA). The powers and responsibilities of the
Board are detailed in Chapters 12 & 13, Vol.1 of the Agreement.
The GRRB is the main instrument of wildlife, fish and forest management in the Gwich’in Settlement Area. The Board acts in the public interest, representing all the parties to the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Settlement – the Gwich’in, the people of the Northwest Territories, and all Canadians.
The GRRB will consult on a variety of topics, including limitation of harvest, setting Gwich’in Needs Levels, approval of management plans, advice to government, making decisions on commercial harvesting, setting research priorities in the GSA, and more.
The GRRB is a model of renewable resources co-management. Working with its partners, the Board plays a leadership role in ensuring that the fish, forests and wildlife of the Gwich’in Settlement Area remain healthy and sustainable.
The GRRB works in cooperation with the Gwich’in people, governments and stakeholders and in accordance with the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement to effectively protect,
conserve and manage renewable resources in the GSA. It will do this in a respectful, ransparent and inclusive manner, using the best available scientific and traditional knowledge.
The GRRB is a co-management board that acts in the
public interest to manage renewable resources in the Gwich’in
Settlement Area. Although Board members are nominated by the Gwich’in
Tribal Council (GTC) and various government departments, all
members act in the public interest, independent of their nominating
organization or department. Having a mix of Gwich’in beneficiaries
and government appointments provides the diversity and balance
needed to allow the Board to make informed decisions. The Chairperson
of the Board must reside within the GSA and all Board procedures
and direction are developed in accordance with
an Operating Procedures Manual.
Securing adequate funding for research, support staff and research and management
programs is a high priority for the Board. Although the GRRB receives funds from
several sources each year, the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement implementation
dollars from the Federal Government are the main funding source. Having independent
funding and expenditure programs allows the Board to be financially efficient
- Audited Financial Statements: Each year
the Board has an independent auditor prepare audited financial
statements. Wowk, Wong and Associates and Paul Teoh have prepared
all of the past audited statements. These statements are submitted
to the federal government each year and are available for review
at the GRRB Office.
Helping Gwich'in Communities
Manage Their Resources
The GRRB recognizes the importance of building
capacity among community members to better manage their resources.
Community-based management depends on informed community members
to make good decisions when managing their resources. To help build
capacity at the community level the Board has sponsored and organized
several workshops and programs.
- Community & Resource Council
Coordinators: The Board also works in conjunction with Renewable Resource
Council Coordinators (RRC coordinators). Each of the four Gwich'in Communities
in the GSA have a coordinator who are of Gwich'in heritage and lives/works in
the community. Coordinators must also work alongside Band Office staff and others
who are working to implement the Land Claims Agreement. The four Renewable Resource
Council coordinators in the GSA meet regularly to discuss common resource management
issues as there are many shared resources.
- Community-Based Research Projects: The
RRC coordinators in each community are encouraged to identify
renewable resource research projects, prepare project proposals,
conduct the research and complete project reports. GRRB and agency
staff assist the RRCs to plan and conduct projects so that community
members learn field research skills. Community research projects
have been conducted in all four Gwich'in communities.
- Community Field Assistants and Monitors: The
RRCs for each community have been (and/or are) involved in most
research projects in the GSA. Field assistants from the communities
are hired by the RRCs to assist with research projects. Field
assistants and monitors learn data collection skills and assist
with the field portion of research projects. Over the past 5
years the Board and agencies have hired over 50 community assistants
to help with wildlife, forestry and fisheries projects.
- RRCs and Community Member Workshops: To
help build community capacity for renewable resource management
the Board has organized several workshops for RRC and community
members at the request of the RRC coordinators. The workshops
have brought together community members, GRRB staff and government
department staff to discuss community and resource management
concerns. Past workshops have addressed the following topics:
- fur and trapping issues
- guiding and outfitting concerns
- eco-forestry principles
- grizzly bear management
- forest management
- youth and Elders’ concerns
- bluenose caribou
- Dempster Highway caribou hunting
- Community Interviewers: The Gwich’in
Environmental Knowledge Project, Harvest Study and Forest
Use Study have all relied on community interviewers to
conduct interviews with Elders and community members. These
programs have also trained community members in research
and interviewing and research techniques. As well, each
interviewer has increased his/her knowledge of renewable
resource management in the GSA.