Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples
Canadians and their governments are working to advance reconciliation and renew the relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. The conservation and protection of land, water and biodiversity are important for advancing reconciliation in Canada. An important initiative in this regard is the Conservation Through Reconciliation Partnership which “aims to critically investigate the state of conservation practice in Canada and support efforts to advance Indigenous-led conservation”. Its work “seeks to meet emerging research needs and build
capacity to support the establishment of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas and the transformation of existing protected areas to better align with Indigenous governance, knowledge and law.”(11)
Through substantial investment by the federal government in Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs), opportunities are created for partnership with private land conservation organizations— particularly in relation to IPCAs in complex landscapes that include private ownership of land. To advance reconciliation and enable the partnerships needed for the establishment of IPCAs, it is important to ensure that Indigenous communities and private land conservation organizations have meaningful engagement and collaboration. Such engagement, collaboration and partnership are important aspects of the stewardship of private conserved lands.
Private land conservation organizations are already engaging with Indigenous communities to develop long-term relationships that include developing and implementing best practices. Ensuring capacity for and establishing consistency of practice by private land conservation organizations in engaging with Indigenous peoples on key aspects of protection, access and integration of Indigenous perspectives, knowledge and practices would contribute to ‘conservation through reconciliation’ objectives.
11. Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership