Metlakatla Cumulative Effects Management

A CE framework for a BC First Nation

The Project

The Metlakatla First Nation territory lies on the North Coast of British Columbia. Pressures from LNG development, in combination with existing or growing pressures from marine shipping, recreational activity, and infrastructure, threaten key environmental, cultural and economic values of the Metlakatla people. To understand and manage these effects, the Metlakatla in 2014 launched a cumulative effects initiative.

Our Role

In collaboration with researchers from Simon Fraser University, Compass designed and led the planning, analysis and engagement. The Metlakatla were not interested in "yet another framework" that would sit on a shelf. So we worked with them on an innovative approach tailored to their needs. It began with participatory development of impact pathway diagrams to build a common understanding of the linkages between development stressors and community values. Workshops for both community members and Metlakatla leadership produced a preliminary list of values, selection criteria, and a smaller set of priority values. We worked with experts and traditional knowledge holders to identify indicators for monitoring the condition of priority values over time. We also identified benchmarks to use in interpreting performance, and management triggers to initiate action in response to changing conditions. We produced plain language summaries of the work, and Info-Sheets for each monitoring indicator. The work plan focused on establishing partnerships to coordinate implementation effort. The program is currently being implemented in a pilot phase.