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NWAC’s Fish and Fish Habitat Protection (FFHP) portal is an online resource designed to promote awareness of federal laws and regulations concerning fish and fish habitat protection, particularly as they relate to Indigenous women, gender-diverse, and Two-Spirit people. The portal also facilitates the exchange of information, views, concerns and priorities in matters related to the FFHP through educational tools and summaries, surveys on various FFHP policies and regulations, as well as information on previous and upcoming NWAC virtual engagement sessions. The portal also includes links to reports and recommendations prepared by NWAC for the DFO on various topics related to the FFHP.
The Fish and Fish Habitat Protection (FFHP) program, under sections 34-42 of the Fisheries Act , aims to protect fish and fish habitat in Canada by:
To protect fish and fish habitat, the FFHP includes specific provisions that prohibit any work, undertaking or activity (other than fishing) that results in the death of fish or the harmful alteration, disruption, or destruction of fish habitat.
These provisions also set out the authority of the Minister to make orders to protect fish and fish habitats, authorize certain works, undertakings and activities that are otherwise prohibited, and make regulations (or recommend the making of regulations to the Governor in Council) in matters related to fish and fish habitat protections. There are two broad categories of decision-making under the FFHP:
Administrative Decision-Making Powers:
The FFHP portal is not a traditional website. It is designed to create opportunities for Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people to share their perspectives on matters related to fish and fish habitat protection in two ways:
Consequently, whenever the DFO proposes a change to the Fish and Fish Habitat provisions of the Fisheries Act, under the Fish and Fish Habitat Protection Program [FFHPP], NWAC will engage its partners using different methods, e.g., sharing circles, round table discussions, surveys, and one-on-one interviews.
The information collected using these methods will be used to prepare reports which will be shared with the DFO. This will ensure that regulations, policies, guidelines, or codes of practice proposed by the DFO include in a meaningful way the perspectives of Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people.
This portal will also enable NWAC’s partners to sign up for notifications to receive information on the dates and timelines for engagement activities related to the Fish and Fish Habitat Protection Program [FFHPP].
Beginning in the fall of 2020, the DFO embarked on a multi-year engagement process with Indigenous people and other key stakeholders throughout Canada. These engagements are in line with the DFO’s commitment to achieving reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
The DFO’s engagement has been rolled out in several Waves. Wave 1 commenced in December 2020 and was completed in December 2021. Wave 1 focused on the following areas:
Some areas from Wave 1 carried over into Wave 2. Wave 2 engagements are currently ongoing and are scheduled to be completed in January 2023. Wave 2 focused on the following areas:
During Wave 2 engagement activities, NWAC focused primarily on item 5 above, identifying priorities for the restoration of fish and fish habitats. The DFO’s engagements in this focus area began in May of 2022 and were completed in June 2022.
During the period June to September 2022, as part of Wave 2, NWAC engaged its partners in a series of roundtables, interviews, and an online survey to receive their perspectives on identifying priorities for the restoration of fish and fish habitat.
Use the tabs below to view engagement activities and reports from Wave 1 and Wave 2 and other information related to the Fish and Fish Habitat Protection Program [FFHPP].