6 Indigenous-Led Organizations & Initiatives for Environmental Protection

Our world’s changing climate and threatened ecosystems is a big problem, and one that requires teamwork and collaboration.

There’s a proverb that describes this idea perfectly:

“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

Listening to the perspectives of people from all backgrounds is the first step towards making positive change on the Earth. After all, the Earth is the one thing we all share.

With Canada’s goal to conserve 25% of its lands by 2025, the country is now partnering with Indigenous land stewards, and for good reason.

Moraine Lake, Canada

Why policymakers should include Indigenous perspectives in conservation decision-making:

  • Indigenous knowledge keepers have long-standing, invaluable understanding of local ecosystems. For example, practicing controlled burning in forests to encourage new growth, manage insect populations and prevent wildfires.
  • Indigenous land stewards have successfully protected biodiversity. A study done by researchers in Australia, Brazil and Canada shows that lands under Indigenous-led management or co-management are preventing species decline.
  • Indigenous land defenders have fought to protect the environment for a longtime. From standing on the front-lines to protest the Trans Mountain oil pipelines in BC to preventing the logging of Vancouver’s old growth forests.

Today for Indigenous Peoples Day, and everyday, you can help protect the Earth by supporting these Indigenous-led and conservation-focused non-profits, grassroots organizations, and advocacy groups:

1. Indigenous Climate Action

As an Indigenous-led organization that amplifies Indigenous voices for climate justice, the ICA advocates for Indigenous knowledge-keepers, provides resources and trainings for climate action, and holds gatherings for community engagement

2. Conservation Through Reconciliation Partnership

CRP’s aim is to support Indigenous-led conservation efforts. They do this through partnerships, research, gatherings and other initiatives.

3. Indigenous Environmental Network

An Indigenous-led grassroots non-profit organization that raises awareness of and works to impact policies surrounding environmental and economic justice.

4. Assembly of First Nations

AFN’s Advisory Committee on Climate Action and the Environment (ACCAE) and the National Fisheries Committee (NFC) both work on a government-level to support Indigenous-led conservation efforts.

5. Native Women’s Association of Canada

The NWAC’s Environmental Conservation & Climate Change Office (ECCCO) advocates for Indigenous women and Two-Spirit voices to ensure they are heard in climate justice decision-making and policy reform.

6. Indigenous Climate Hub

An Indigenous-led platform for First Nations, Inuit and Métis to share information, stories, and knowledge on climate change in their communities.

We encourage readers to go beyond this blog post to learn more from experts on Indigenous history, rights, and reconciliation. For more information about Indigenous-led conservation efforts, please visit the websites of the organizations listed above. If you or your organization is interested in further study, visit Indigenous Corporate Training or enroll in Coursera’s free course called Indigenous Canada, instructed by Dr. Tracy Bear.


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