At Ecotrust Canada, we work to develop, pilot, and scale innovative economic solutions that enable sustainable communities. This work is messy, imperfect, and complex, and we don’t tell enough of the stories of the lives that are changed by our work.

Starting today, we are going to change that by sharing more stories from the communities, partners, and individual people that we work with. We hope that these stories inspire you to join us on our mission to develop, pilot and scale innovate economic solutions that enable the emergence of sustainable communities.

In 2007 a group of fisherman on the West coast of British Columbia recognized the link between the loss of their vibrant fishing industry and the community’s socio-economic challenges. They wanted a solution for the fishery that put the wellbeing of community at the centre of the plan, and partnered with Ecotrust Canada to develop it.

Together, we built and piloted a Fisheries Licence Bank, based on a triple bottom line approach. We wanted a fishery that would keep the ocean and the community healthy – a fishery that would ensure parents had jobs, kids had opportunity and families stayed safe and stayed together. We built a model through which the community shares the risk and the benefit of the fishery, and the results were promising. Based on learnings from this work, we refined the model and created a toolkit for other fish harvesters or communities to replicate it.

In 2008, the government of Canada introduced a new program to help First Nations rebuild their commercial fisheries. The ‘Namgis Nation recognized the opportunity to leverage this program in support of their own, much larger vision for a healthy, vibrant community based fishery, firmly rooted in their identity as a seafaring nation. Ecotrust Canada, who had supported the ‘Namgis in the development of their fishery vision, partnered with the Nation to adapt and operationalize their own Fishery Licence Bank, Mama’omas, with the explicit mission of creating as many viable local fishing jobs and as much benefit across community as possible.

These initial successes proved the potential for a Fishery Licence Bank model rooted in a community vision. Since then, triple bottom line Fishery Licence Banks have been replicated from coast to coast to coast and are supporting the emergence of healthy, sustainable and resilient communities.

Despite these successes, we still have a very long way to go. Models like the Fishery Licence Bank have the power to be catalytic, but their full potential has yet to be realized. To realize their full potential, significant changes in policy and regulation are required.

In 2018, The Federal government of Canada is conducting an historic review of the Canadian Fisheries Act. With your support, we can bring a decade’s worth of innovation and learning to the review of this keystone legislation and the policies it will direct. Together, we can create lasting transformational change.

Ecotrust Canada is small non-profit that’s proving it’s possible to build fair, sustainable economies that reflect and support the community. With your support, Ecotrust Canada will continue to develop, pilot and scale economic innovations to build healthy, sustainable communities. Please join us as a monthly donor or make your one-time donation before Dec 31st.

Donations made before December 31st will be matched by an anonymous donor, doubling your impact.