This toolkit was created by the Indigenous Knowledge Circle of the NBCKC to support individuals and organizations seeking to learn how to do things differently, how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, and how to embed reconciliation into our conservation and stewardship work. We hope it helps you to advance genuine, respectful, and productive collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and organizations working to protect and restore lands, waters, and all living beings.
Before laying the groundwork for a collaborative project, it is important to learn about and familiarize yourself with the historical and current context of Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships in Canada and specifically in the area where you will be working. The following suggestions will help you build relationships with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people that are rooted in respect, understanding, and humility.
2. Building Relationships for Collaboration, Parts 1 & 2
A lot of time and preparation is required to establish meaningful relationships and collaboration across Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures, communities, and initiatives. Laying a strong foundation by establishing trusting relationships with the people, organizations, and communities with whom you wish to collaborate is essential to the success of your project. When relationships are built from the ground up in a spirit of reconciliation, they can flourish and grow into fruitful partnerships and projects!
3. Working Respectfully with Indigenous Peoples and their Knowledge Systems
It has long been the case that people from Western cultures have assumed that their own knowledge systems and ways of doing things are either superior to others or simply ‘the only way’. In Canada, colonists and settlers have taken away Indigenous Peoples’ lands and territories; banned and criminalized their languages, laws, and customs; and compromised their livelihoods.
Biocultural Monitoring and Community-based Stewardship Information about biocultural approaches to monitoring and stewardship, including Indigenous Guardians programs. Includes information about traditional ecological knowledge and frameworks for ethical engagement across knowledge systems (e.g. two-eyed seeing) in the context of community-based monitoring and management.
Financing and Indigenous- led Conservation Economies Information about revenue-generation for Indigenous-led conservation, including information about the conservation economy, nature-based climate solutions, Indigenous-led tourism.
Governance and Decision-Making Information about Indigenous approaches to conservation governance. Includes partnerships, management, decision-making processes, and models.
Colonial conservation Information about the dark history of conservation, in Canada and beyond. Includes critical discussions about the North American model for wildlife, and fortress conservation, which inform mainstream conservation approaches.
International context Information from international examples of Indigenous-led conservation initiatives outside of Canada. Includes sources about relevant international policies (IUCN, CBD, UN, others).
IPCAs and Indigenous-led conservation General information about Indigenous-led conservation and/or IPCAs, including the environmental and cultural/social benefits.
IPCA planning and establishment The process of IPCAs and discussion of the steps taken. This includes the visioning for IPCA creation, community engagement, planning, declaration, negotiations, and relationship-building with partners that support the creation of an IPCA.
Language and cultural revitalization Information about language and cultural revitalization, including land-based learning, in the context of Indigenous-led conservation.
Laws and Legal Systems Information about Indigenous laws, legal systems and protocols; Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial laws and policies; case law relevant to Indigenous-led conservation; and efforts to reconcile or braid Indigenous and Crown legal systems.
Relationships, Reconciliation, and Knowledge Systems Information about reconciliation, respectful relationships, and meaningful partnerships in the context of Indigenous-led conservation. Includes information about ethical frameworks for working across and between Indigenous and western knowledge systems.
Agreement Memorandums of Understanding, establishment agreements, or other templates and constructive agreements
Audio Stories and resources you can listen to (e.g. podcasts)
Blog Post Personal reflections and project overviews, often with hyperlinks, videos, and photographs.
Book Fiction and non-fiction books, including book chapters and chapters from other publications
Crown Laws and Legislation Crown legislation, laws, and regulations (Federal, Provincial, Territorial, or Municipal/Local)
Indigenous Laws and Declarations Indigenous laws and legal orders relevant to Indigenous-led conservation. Includes declarations to create Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas made by Indigenous Nations.
Other A resource that does not fit into one of the categories above.
Plan Land relationship and/or land use plans, governance plans, economic plans, and other documents to guide decision-making. Includes some additional resources relevant to planning.
News Article Article published by news media outlets. Includes articles published by online magazines.
Press Release Official statements delivered to news media outlets
Reports Reports published by Indigenous governments; non-Indigenous Governments (Federal, Provincial/Territorial, or Municipal/Local); non-governmental organizations; and others. Includes management plans.
Toolkit A resource geared towards practitioners. Contains useful and applicable information.
Video Audio and visual resources you can watch (e.g. videos)