Metlakatla Cumulative Effects Management Program


Metlakatla First Nation is a progressive Tsimshian community located in a highly productive environment near Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Metlakatla means ‘saltwater pass’ in Sm’algyax, the language of the Coast Ts’msyen (Tsimshian). Today, Metlakatla members continue to enjoy their inherent rights and freedom to harvest traditional food, practice traditional ceremonies and honour their history. 

In 2014, the Metlakatla First Nation and the Metlakatla Stewardship Society initiated the Metlakatla Cumulative Effects Management (CEM) Program by organizing a team of staff, consultants, and university researchers to develop the program framework and methods and implement the CEM Program. The Metlakatla CEM program links assessment information to decision making by outlining mitigation and management strategies designed to prevent undesirable impacts to values. 

British Columbia
Project Type

Metlakatla has developed a multi-year research partnership with the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University to help carry out this work. By promoting interdisciplinary internal and external cooperation, this well-established, adaptive and iterative program integrates the Metlakatla worldview to ensure culturally appropriate outcomes.

Metlakatla values, ethics, and principles guide how the CEM Program is developed and implemented.  The CEM Program focuses on a range of Metlakatla values within the 5 pillars of cultural identity, social/health, environment, economic prosperity, and governance. 

The management framework for each priority value consists of establishing a broad desired goal, a well-defined indicator for continually assessing the condition of the value, a set of management triggers that initiate a response if surpassed, and an associated list of management actions that are designed to be effective and implementable. The selected tiered management triggers and their concurrent actions provide clear information about when and what kind of action should be taken to manage the condition of priority values. 

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