Governance Structure and Decision-Making Process
The Tracking Change project is administered at the University of Alberta in collaboration with multiple community, government, and university partners as well as academics and students living and working in the Mackenzie, Lower Mekong, and Lower Amazon Basins. The Project Team includes all partner organizations, academic co-applicants, collaborators, community researchers, and students, and is supported by project administration staff. A critical base of the network is the Mackenzie River Basin Board (MRBB), an institution at the forefront of multi-scale thinking and decision-making on many emerging issues in the Basin. The board’s Traditional Knowledge and Strengthening Partnerships Working Group (TKSPWG), along with other partner organizations, guide the design, implementation, and outcomes of the partnership. By connecting the MRBB with international partners, a more global lens on local issues, and opportunities to share knowledge from Canada on a global stage were created.
Throughout the project, our work has been guided by a Traditional Knowledge Steering Committee (TKSC), made up of the Indigenous members of the TKSPWG and a Senor Academic Advisory Committee (SAAC) which includes the expertise of leading academics in the field. These advisory committees have provided overall input and advice in all aspects of project development, implementation, and reporting. In November of 2015, the Project Team gathered in Whitehorse, Yukon, and drafted a formal Terms of Reference that guide the project.
The Project Team’s decision-making process is formalized by the Project Management Committee (TCPMC) which includes the TKSC, a representative of the Government of the Northwest Territories, the academic leads for each of the Mackenzie, Mekong, and Amazon, and the academic leads for the Sub-Basins of the Mackenzie. The TCPMC seeks input into its decisions from all members of the Project Team, including the SAAC and makes best efforts to ensure equitable decision-making is guided by a consensus process. If consensus cannot be reached, the TCPMC members have voting privileges, with a two-thirds majority needed for agreement.
Traditional Knowledge Steering Committee Membership
Traditional Knowledge Steering Committee – The membership of the TKSC is comprised of the current Indigenous members of the TKSPWG. Throughout the six years of the Tracking Change project, the membership of the MRBB TKSPWG has changed with the cycles of the MRBB project governance however, we are pleased to say that many former members of the TKSPWG remain engaged with the Tracking Change project and still serve in important advisory roles.
The Senior Academic Advisory Committee, often working in collaboration with the TKAC, provides important guidance from an academic perspective. We have been fortunate to have three experienced, well-respected, and deeply committed scholars engaged in the project right from its conception.
Indigenous organization partners of the Tracking Change project are those Indigenous governments, organizations, and co-management boards that provided a letter of support for the funding application to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2014), including acknowledgment of the Principles of Partnership. Additional groups have joined as partners throughout the project through their nomination by an existing partner or member of the TKAC and by becoming a signatory to the Guiding Principles of Collaboration
Academic partners similarly provided letters of support and signed the Guiding Principles of Collaboration