Boats operated by the Kitasoo Coastal Guardian Watchmen and Spirit Bear Lodge, near Klemtu, BC. Boats are the most common way of getting around this mostly roadless region.
Kitasoo Watchmen Boats operated by the Kitasoo Coastal Guardian Watchmen and Spirit Bear Lodge, near Klemtu, BC. Boats are the most common way of getting around this mostly roadless region. © Jason Houston

Investing in People

Indigenous Guardians

We support these programs, which are breaking new ground and leading critical stewardship work across Canada.

Indigenous Guardians are the “eyes and ears” of their territories—they are men and women who are using Indigenous knowledge and practices, blended with western science to monitor and steward their traditional lands and waters across Canada. The roles and responsibilities of Indigenous Guardians are unique in each community: they are on boats patrolling for illegal activities, in rivers conducting fish counts, bringing together youth and elders on the land, and in forests educating hunters and campers. They collect data to inform their leaders, other governments, and companies who manage natural resources. 

Indigenous Guardian programs across Canada are breaking new ground and doing some of the most important stewardship work in the country. But there is much effort that goes into establishing, funding, and managing these programs, which can sometimes leave Guardians feeling isolated or under-resourced.

  • Download our latest impact report

    2019 Impact Report

    Read how the Indigenous Guardians Toolkit has helped support new and existing guardian programs in our 2019 Impact Report.

    DOWNLOAD

How We Support Indigenous Guardians

  • Communities across Canada have Indigenous Guardians programs that are responsible for safeguarding land and water.

    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

  • Lustel K'e

    Partnerships

    Work in partnership with other Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations and governments to advance Guardian issues locally, regionally, and nationally. Explore our Community Resources

More About the Indigenous Guardians Toolkit

Indigenous Guardians have identified the need to share best practices, experiences, and resources to help build and implement their programs. To address these needs, Nature United facilitated the development of the Indigenous Guardians Toolkit. 

The Toolkit is based on a simple premise: to support and share practical resources among Indigenous Guardian programs. 

The Toolkit was built in collaboration with an Advisory Group rich with experience building and supporting Indigenous Guardian programs, as well as with Indigenous communities and practitioners from across Canada.

It makes us realize we are not alone on this journey. The Toolkit helps us think about things we want to work on to make our Network stronger and more valuable as we support our member communities to develop their programs.

Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network

The Toolkit is an online platform where Indigenous communities across Canada can learn, share and connect about building and implementing Indigenous Guardian programs. The Toolkit includes:

  • Practical information, tips and resources
  • Downloadable worksheets and templates to use and modify
  • Stories of Guardians at work and quotes from people on-the-ground
  • A map of Guardian programs across Canada

This map is just one part of the complete Toolkit, showing the expansion of Indigenous Guardian programs across Canada.