Government of Canada supports Indigenous Guardians nature conservation with $30 million fund


WHITEHORSE, Yukon, August 29, 2022 /CNW/ – Indigenous peoples have been stewards of the natural environment since time immemorial. Canada is committed to working in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis to support Indigenous leadership, traditional knowledge and Indigenous science in nature conservation to help ensure the protection of lands, waters and ice cream for generations to come.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honorable Steven Guilbeault, announced nearly $30 million in funding for more than eighty First Nations, Inuit and Métis Guardians initiatives Across the country. These initiatives to address the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss are taking place from coast to coast, providing benefits to Indigenous communities, the natural environment and species at risk, including boreal caribou.

Northern First Nations, Inuit and Métis initiatives receiving funding include:

  • Carcross/Tagish First Nation Guardians expand their ability to further collaboration, monitoring and management of wildlife and human activities within their traditional territory in the south yukon and from the north British Columbia.

  • Custodians of the Inuvialuit Lands Administration develop and implement an Inuvialuit-led environmental monitoring program to support evidence-based decision-making, management, monitoring and protection of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, which includes yukon and the Northwest Territories.

  • Guardians of the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories build capacity and establish “eyes and ears” on the land to protect species and their habitats, to monitor and observe climate change and industry-related impacts on their homelands, and to facilitate opportunities transfer of intergenerational knowledge to young people.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis have always been stewards of their traditional lands, waters and ice, monitoring ecological and climatic health, maintaining cultural sites and protecting sensitive areas and species. Funding through Indigenous Guardians initiatives creates meaningful local jobs and supports Indigenous leadership in conservation, providing a concrete example of reconciliation in action.

As countries from around the world come to Montreal, Quebecin December for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada will continue to play a leading role in the conservation of biodiversity and nature. Along with international partners, Canada champions both the development of an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework with clear targets and actions, as well as the important role that indigenous knowledge plays in efforts to conserve and protect biodiversity and environments natural at home and around the world.


from Canada conservation goals can only be achieved by trusting and acknowledging traditional Indigenous roles, knowledge and science. In a spirit of reconciliation, the government of Canada is committed to supporting Indigenous leadership in conservation. Programs such as Indigenous Guardians are crucial to protecting ecosystems, species and cultures for future generations. »
– The Honorable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“The First Nation Guardian Initiative program is a crucial step in continuing on the path set by our ancestors. Not only will this strengthen our connection to the land, but it will also help us build strong and lasting collaborative relationships with our partner governments and neighboring First Nations.
Marie BenoitHaa Shaa of the Hen, Carcross/Tagish First Nation

“The Northwest Territories Métis Nation Guardians, who have been stewards of our lands for decades, welcome this recognition and the multi-year support of Canadawhich will help us better understand the impacts of climate change and other activities on our traditional territory. »
Garry BaileyPresident, Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories

“The Inuvialuit have been stewards of our lands since time immemorial. The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation is committed to Inuvialuit stewardship of our lands throughout the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and will continue to work with the federal government to ensure that initiatives like this happen alongside actions Meaningful Actions Aimed at Reconciliation.”

Duan SmithPresident and CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

“First Nations, Inuit and Métis have been stewards of their lands for thousands of years. Their traditional knowledge, experience and leadership are essential to the success of from Canada environmental goals. Indigenous Guardians initiatives are an active step towards reconciliation and an investment in a greener future for our children in the North. »
Brendan Hanleydeputy, Yukon Territory

Fast facts

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada has invested more than $50 million in more than 170 First Nations, Inuit and Métis guardian initiatives since 2018, leading to job creation by Indigenous peoples, while protecting nature and wildlife.

  • The federal government expanded its support for Indigenous Guardians in 2021, committing to $173 million support new and existing Indigenous Guardians initiatives and the development of Indigenous Guardians networks for First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Funding for today’s announcement of over eighty newly approved Indigenous Guardians initiatives is being allocated from this 2021 funding commitment.

  • At their core, Guardians initiatives reconnect Indigenous peoples to the lands, waters and ice of their traditional territory. This connection leads to profound benefits for nature and the humans who depend on it. These benefits span generations: healing communities, creating opportunities for young people, and engaging Elders for guidance.

  • Indigenous peoples have long cared for the land we all share. United Nations data suggests that indigenous lands make up only about 20% of Earth’s territory, but contain up to 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity.

  • Please visit the Indigenous Guardians webpage for more information and updates on eligibility and future funding opportunities.

Related links

Environment and Climate Change Canada Twitter Page

Environment and Climate Change Canada Facebook Page

SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada


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