The number and density of First Nations within S’ólh Téméxw is unique: nowhere else in Canada are so many indigenous interests overlapping. Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Regional District also fall within S’ólh Téméxw. Further compounding interests, these diverse population centres include the busiest port in Canada, Port Metro Vancouver. These factors have led to unique challenges in engaging Stó:lō.
StoloConnect is a custom designed referral management web portal. Development began in 2009, with initial funding from Stó:lō Nation, the British Columbia Capacity Initiative (BCCI), and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (now Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and Indigenous Services Canada). With our web development team Culture Code, StoloConnect was designed by the staff of the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre (SRRMC) and PRRO as a bespoke solution to Stó:lō’s uniquely complex engagement and consultation landscape.
StoloConnect was designed around three integral concepts: (i) a secure system, (ii) a user-friendly interface, and (iii) a social-network design. The S’ólh Téméxw Stewardship Alliance (STSA), private industry, local government, the Province of British Columbia, and the Federal Government of Canada referrals staff have all played a role in helping to shape StoloConnect.
The StoloConnect web portal offers an inclusive solution to referrals management. We call it the “one-window” solution. Some of the main features include:
- A single online referral submission for engagement of all STSA member communities;
- A unique social-networking model, allowing for easy communication between all parties;
- Interactive mapping tools allow for overlay analysis of proposed project areas and Stó:lō interests;
- Flexible, intuitive database search tool;
- Semi-automated, standardized referral reports integrated directly into the system; and
- Advanced analysis tools to summarize referrals by a variety of criteria, allowing for cumulative impact analysis.
- Consensus tracking, a unique tool for tracking levels of consensus decision making between the STSA and the Crown, as a tool for gauging Indigenous consent.