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Open Call for Capacity funding to Métis Communities

by NationTalk on February 8, 20081026 Views

.Environment and Conservation:
Open Call for Capacity funding to Métis Communities

The Aboriginal Inland Habitat Program (AIHP) is a federal government initiative funded by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) for the MNO to assist our Community Councils in obtaining capacity building resources to develop and implement local inland habitat projects. The application process for Métis Community Councils in the 2007/08 is now open until March 3rd, 2008 for interested Community Councils to submit a Letter of Interest ApplicationWhat is “Fish Habitat?”

According to the Fisheries Act (R.S., 1985, c. F-14), fish habitat “means spawning grounds and nursery, rearing, food supply and migration areas on which fish depend directly or indirectly in order to carry out their life processes” .Fish habitat, therefore, is any areas that fish depend on to carry out their complete life cycle. This means that fish need not be present in a particular area year round for it to be important fish habitat; most fish make long and/or short migrations to feed, rest, hide, and spawn.

Fish habitat is affected by the interactions of land, water, and air; any activity or process that occurs within the same watershed as the fish has the capacity to affect it in some way. Additionally, aerial deposition of pollutants from activities hundreds or thousands of kms away can affect the habitat of fish. The degradation of any of the varied fish habitat that fish need to carry out its life processes (spawning, feeding, resting, hiding, migrating and nursery habitat) can have serious consequences for the entire fish population. For more information please see MNO Fish Habitat Management; Practices, Case Studies and Organizations document.

What is the AIHP?

The Aboriginal Inland Habitat Program (AIHP) is funded by the Government of Canada and aims to facilitate the engagement of Aboriginal communities in the regulatory and non-regulatory activities of DFO’s fish habitat management program. The program is expected to encourage new collaborations among Metis, First Nations, Inuit and others, and to build on established working relationships where these already exist. One of the more concrete outcomes is expected to be better, more informed decisions about the management of fish habitat.
More specifically, the objective of the AIHP is to develop partnerships with Aboriginal communities to support their own efforts in developing a longer-term capacity to manage fish habitat. This long-term capacity is to be developed by:

– Strengthening existing organizations who possess a fish management capacity, or
– Encouraging the development of fish management capacity among new organizations, or among organizations that do not yet possess such capacity.

The AIHP program is intended to assist Metis and First Nation communities in Ontario engage qualified staff or contractors to carry out specific projects relating to fish habitat management in their local areas.
MNO Program objectives

The objectives of a MNO delivered Aboriginal Inland Habitat (AIH) Program is to enhance the ability of Métis communities, working together, to participate in decision-making related to habitat management non-regulatory activities which could meet the following four main objectives:

1. to develop the capacity of Metis communities to initate local or regional inland habitat projects;
2. To establish or enhance the capacity of Metis Communities to develop and participate in local inland habitat opportunities and their benefits
3. To advance Metis knowledge in sustainable inland habitat projects, and;
4. to enhance the institutional capacity of the MNO at the local, regional and provincial level and to support Metis participation in the AIHP over the long term.

In all four of these areas, Metis communities can obtain funding (but not limited to) for the following work:

– professional, administrative and technical expertise for project development and implementation;
– Undertake Metis Strategic and community-based planning exercise resulting in local inland habitat action plan
– Design and implementation of locai/ regional Capacity assessment/feasibility studies

Application process

All MNO Community Councils or contractors on their behalf are invited to submit a Letter Of Interest (LOI) Application. The MNO MIHP Selection Committee will review the LOI applications and those that are approved may be asked to submit additional project information, in consultation with the MNO Fisheries Liaison Officer. The intent is to streamline the application process so that only those applicants whose strategic direction and projects best mesh with the program objectives and program priorities will be given consideration. All applicants are asked to submit their proposal using the LOI Application format.

LOI Applications and all supporting documents can be mailed, e-mailed or delivered and must be received by the MNO Fisheries Liaison Officer the closing date of 5:00 p.m. CST, March 3rd, 2008. A letter acknowledging receipt of the Application will be sent to each applicant.

Letter of Interest (LOI)
>Download Letter of Interest Application

The Letter of Interest is intended to be a very concise document that provides a snapshot of the community’s strategic direction, objectives, the proposed project, and how these mesh with both the MNO objectives and how MNO can provide support. The LOI must include supporting documents (letters of support from the Chartered Community Council (s), from local groups and agencies). In the LOI, Métis Community Council or a contractor on their behalf will describe their strategic direction or vision for a inland habitat program in their community/communities including their community objectives, rationale for the project and future opportunities. Applicants will then describe how the MNO might assist them in advancing these objectives.

The MNO has established a MIHP Selection committee who will meet to review and approve LOI applications. Only fully completed LOI applications, including supporting documents, received by the deadline date will be considered for review. When the review has been completed, the MNO Fisheries Liaison Officer will notify each applicant.

The MNO will select three Metis Community Council LOI applications and issue up to $7,500.00 for each sucessful applicant to prepare a project work plan that will commence in the 2008/09 fiscal year
Mandatory Requirements: LOI Applications must contain the following: Demonstration or evidence that the project meets one of the MNO Objectives; Evidence of broad community support and awareness of the proposed project, for example: Letter(s) of support by the MNO Community Council and other local organizations, First Nations, muncipalities, counties,

Project Work Plan

If your LOI application is approved, the next step will be to obtain seed funding in order to fully develop a project work plan and to submit budget information. Details regarding this submission will be sent to those applicants whose LOIs is approved.

The purpose of the Project Work Plan submission is to gather all the information necessary to develop an agreement. The Agreement outlines the amount being contributed, the work to be conducted, the terms of payment and the project deliverables including the expected outcomes. This document is developed in consultation with the successful proponent and is issued by the Metis Nation of Ontario an Agreement must be signed and validated by the Metis Nation of Ontario before work can begin. The maximum allowable contribution from the MNO will be $22,000.00 for the 2008/09 fiscal year.

For more information please contact Paul Heighington, TF 1-800-263-4889 or Andy Lefebvre, TF 1-888-497-3939

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