BACKGROUNDER: Indigenous Conservation is Central to Achieving Canada’s International Conservation Commitment
Across the country, Indigenous governments are protecting ancient forests and clean waters. Indigenous Peoples have cared for these places for millennia, and now many Nations are developing innovative tools and models to conserve the land for future generations....
Environmental and conservation groups are convinced that there will be a significant amount of money — up to $1.4 billion dollars — in next week’s federal budget for conservation.
They say all signs point to a growing political commitment to meeting Canada’s international goal of protecting 17 per cent of its land and fresh water by 2020.
From the pristine waters of the North French River in Ontario to the tree-lined shores of the Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories, Indigenous Nations are working to conserve the land.
Some are caring for the country’s iconic places, like Gwaii Haanas and the Torngat Mountains. And some are creating protected areas that will provide clean water, fresh air and abundant animals for generations to come.
Seven Indigenous Nations and groups announced a ground-breaking strategy for restoring caribou across 1.5 million square kilometres of Quebec, Labrador and Nunavik. Known as the Ungava Peninsula Caribou Aboriginal Round Table (UPCART), it will help address critical gaps....
The movement to create a National Indigenous Guardians Network gained new ground today when the government of Canada included an initial investment of $25 million over 5 years in the 2017-2018 federal budget....
Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is supporting a greater role for First Nations in creating new protected areas and managing the ones Canada already has.
Speaking Friday at a parks conference in Banff, Alta., McKenna said Indigenous protected areas will be one way Canada meets its international goal of conserving 17 per cent of its land by 2020.
When Canada created its national parks system beginning in 1885, it forced out Indigenous peoples in the name of conservation and tourism.
Now some Indigenous leaders see the same parks they were excluded from—visited by more than 14 million people in 2015/16—as places where reconciliation can take root.
Giving Indigenous people a greater say in the operation of national parks and the creation of new protected areas is on the agenda at a major conference in Alberta this week.
First Nations leaders and officials from the federal and provincial governments will review proposals that could give more legal weight to protected areas designated by bands, said Steve Nitah, a delegate to the Canadian Parks Conference being held over four days starting Wednesday in Banff.
When it comes to protecting the land, water, flora, and fauna around mining operations, companies use a wide range of tools, technologies, and expertise. Increasingly, that expertise comes in the form of traditional knowledge from local indigenous communities. But innovative solutions are needed to enable communities to contribute on a larger scale.
One year ago this month, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its final report. Its pages described the anguish caused by residential schools and the gaps remaining between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in terms of education and prosperity. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the report, saying “This is a time of real and positive change.
(Also appeared in The Hill Times)