As an organization, Nature United believes that the increased authority and capacity of Indigenous peoples to steward their lands and waters is critical for the future of healthy ecosystems and communities. We believe there are four interconnected elements that greatly impact Indigenous authority and capacity to steward lands and waters: governance, stewardship, leadership, and local economies.
Indigenous communities must have an active decision-making role on matters pertaining to their territories. Ideally, Indigenous governments and others make and implement relevant stewardship-related laws, regulations, policies and plans based on their values and Indigenous legal frameworks. Examples of work developed in partnership:
Establishment of Thaidene Nëné
In August 2019, Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation established as a 6.5-million acre protected area to be co-governed by the Łutsël K'é, federal and territorial governments. Learn about the co-governance model for Thaidene Nëné.
Marine Plan Partnership for the Great Bear Sea
MaPP is a unique partnership between 16 First Nations and BC to develop a ground-breaking "blueprint" for ocean use and sustainable economic development. See how MaPP is being used as a global model for ocean management..
Community-led Land-Use Visions
In Clayoquot Sound, we're supporting First Nations to develop land-use plans that ensure the ecologic, economic, and social health of their lands and people. Learn about the First Nations who are developing land-use plans in Clayoquot Sound.
Indigenous communities must have local people with skills and resources to implement stewardship policies and plans, including on-the-ground stewardship managers, planners, specialists, technicians, guardians, and more. In addition, communities must develop the capacity, infrastructure and sustainable finances to support their stewardship efforts and priorities over time. Examples of work developed in partnership:
Moose Monitoring Workshop
First Nations in northern Manitoba came together to discuss their concern about declining moose populations. See how we're supporting knowledge-sharing to care for moose.
Indigenous Guardians Toolkit
To help Guardian programs share best practices, experiences, and resources to help build and implement their programs, Nature United facilitated the development of the Indigenous Guardians Toolkit. See how Indigenous Guardians are leading stewardship across Canada.
Healthy Country Planning
Nature United is supporting Indigenous communities throughout Canada in exploring this community-led approach for integrating conservation, cultural and social goals. Read About a Healthy Country Planning Workshop in Northern Manitoba
Effective governance and stewardship activities need Indigenous leaders who are connected to their culture and territories, feel knowledgable and supported, are effective and impactful, and are respected by the community and others. Examples of work developed in partnership:
Supporting Emerging Aboriginal Stewards
A community-led initiative supported by Nature United, SEAS enables transformative and lasting conservation by engaging Indigenous youth and reviving traditional stewardship. Learn about the proven, lasting impact of SEAS on communities.
Resilient Indigenous Leaders Network
In response to needs expressed by community leaders, Nature United and Tides Canada supports a network of Indigenous stewardship leaders who gather annually and stay connected throughout the year. Read how meaningful connections are adding capacity to Indigenous stewardship programs.
Ni Hat’Ni Dene Rangers
As part of our commitment to Indigenous co-governance of Thaidene Nëné, Nature United supports an on-the-land youth program as part of the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation's Indigenous guardians. Explore a timeline of our support in the Northwest Territories.
Indigenous-led conservation must include an economic development component (including community capacity, access to markets and entrepreneurial growth and success) that enhances cultural and ecological values while expanding opportunities for jobs and wealth creation. Examples of work developed in partnership:
Indigenous-led Carbon Markets
Through our on-the-ground work with partners in coastal British Columbia, we're aiming to increase access to First Nations communities in an Indigenous-led carbon market. Read more about our commitment to innovating for climate change and reducing carbon.
New Fishery Opportunities
We're building the business development and management capacity of First Nations-owned and operated fisheries in B.C.
Advancing Economic-Development Relationships
We're providing technical support to advance economic-development relationships with Crown governments in British Columbia. See how we've supported local economic development in the Great Bear Rainforest.