The Next Generation of Indigenous Leaders
A community-led initiative supported by Nature United, SEAS (Supporting Emerging Aboriginal Stewards) enables transformative and lasting conservation by engaging Indigenous youth and reviving traditional stewardship. Reaching more than 450 students per year, SEAS connects youth of all ages to the natural world just outside their front door.
Learn More About SEAS
We developed this resource to support communities wishing to launch their own on-the-land Indigenous youth programs. Download the Toolkit
The Next Generation
First Nations protected Canada's Great Bear Rainforest for future generations. Now local communities are rebuilding ties to this land. Read the Article From Our Global Affiliate
The Impact of SEAS
Our program evaluation found that 70% more youth now visit culturally important places within their territories thanks to SEAS. Download the Summary
By Communities, For Communities
SEAS is designed, led, and championed by Indigenous communities with support from Nature United. This model allows programs to reflect unique cultures and identities, respond to local challenges, and adapt to community-specific factors. Local leaders implement SEAS programs. SEAS also catalyzes broader change and many communities report increased leadership, higher rates of post-secondary education, and more opportunities for community members of all ages to connect with nature.
SEAS in the Classroom
Opportunities for youth from Kindergarten to high school vary from community to community, but they can include:
- nature-based classroom and outdoor activities
- interactive technology that brings nature to life in the classroom
- school-wide nature events and contests
- mentors from the local professionals and elders community
Through SEAS, students witness the salmon life cycle by visiting a river during spawning, understand bear safety and ecology, and learn traditional plant medicine. Students research herring harvest, recipes, ecology, and history, and use remote cameras to capture wildlife on film for interpretive trail signs.
To complement activities in the classroom, nonprofit organizations and band councils offer summer internships so high school students can work alongside professionals in their traditional territory. Interns complete valuable trainings and work alongside resource officers, guides, and other mentors. In the fall, interns are encouraged to pursue their interests and may be matched with a mentor when they return to their high school or post-secondary programs.
Connecting students and leaders from SEAS communities is critical to the program’s growth and long-term success. To build these connections, Nature United supports virtual learning opportunities and in-person exchanges where participating students and community leaders can share their knowledge, experiences and insights.
By 2020 we aim to double the impact of SEAS by bringing the program to four new communities.
If you'd like to learn more about SEAS, including how you can start a program in your community, visit emergingstewards.org.