Aboriginal Fisheries Research Unit

The Aboriginal Fisheries Research Unit (AFRU) combines traditional ecological knowledge and modern science to support more effective ecosystem and aquatic resource management. The unit was active from 2008–2015, but ceased operating when the Aboriginal fisheries researcher left UBC in December 2015.

The IOF Commitment

Fisheries provide a significant source of food for, and are of economic, social and cultural importance to, many Aboriginal peoples in Canada and around the world. The IOF proposed revitalizing the nascent AFRU by strengthening and broadening its vision, having it contextualized within UBC’s Strategic Plan, and sought guidance through an extensive consultation process — all of which were absent when the Aboriginal Fisheries Research Unit was originally created and a faculty member was hired to run it nearly a decade ago.

The revitalized AFRU would boost the IOF’s and UBC’s commitments to promoting Aboriginal fisheries education, fostering Aboriginal leadership and development, and building Aboriginal student and community engagement.

The IOF – AFRU Strategic Plan

The IOF brought together a committee to rebuild the AFRU in order to (1) provide Aboriginal leadership, development, education and training relating to Aboriginal fisheries; and (2) promote Aboriginal student engagement and conduct student- and faculty-led research and other initiatives in collaboration with Aboriginal communities and other partners on and off campus.

The AFRU Strategic Plan builds on the UBC mandate expressed in the University’s Aboriginal Strategic plan 2008 (2009) (App C), and on the various Initiatives and Academic Programs at UBC (see App D).

Next Steps

In early 2019, a comprehensive hiring search and interview process was undertaken. At the completion of this process, it was announced that Andrea Reid, a member of the Nisga’a Nation, has accepted the position of Assistant Professor, Indigenous Fisheries. The post, which begins in January 2021, will involve teaching, research and mentorship.