Indigenous Nations and communities lead the creation of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas or “IPCAs,” This is what makes IPCAs so unique. IPCAs vary from territory to territory and nation to nation. Yet, they share features like ecological conservation and elevating Indigenous rights and responsibilities.
By creating IPCAs, Indigenous Peoples’ strengthen their relationships to their lands and waters. Indigenous Nations and communities establish IPCAs for many reasons. Some of these reasons include to:
- share their vision for their lands, waters, and communities
- attract resources and build capacity to bring that vision to life
- gain support from partners and Crown governments
- support decision-making about lands, waters, and communities
- protect important species and places
- strengthen Indigenous cultures, knowledge systems, languages, laws, and traditions
- promote intergenerational learning
- support local economies, and community health and well-being
- uphold responsibilities to lands and waters for future generations.
In 2018, the Indigenous Circle of Experts (ICE) published an important report on IPCAs. The report is called “We Rise Together.” ICE included insights shared by the Indigenous Peoples they spoke to across the country. In their report, ICE made 28 recommendations to support Indigenous-led conservation and reconciliation. The recommendations are mainly for Crown (federal, provincial, and territorial) governments.
The Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership (CRP) developed this guide to support Indigenous Nations (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) to establish Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs). We included questions and examples to assist your visioning and planning, but not tell you what to do. We included some examples that are not specific to IPCAs but that might be helpful. This includes insights from the lived experiences of Indigenous Peoples. The lead author was Justine Townsend. We are grateful to the contributors who made this guide possible.
This guide is evergreen and will be refreshed and revisited annually.