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.
How We Support Indigenous Guardians
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
We facilitate networking between Indigenous communities to foster learning. Read about an exchange in Bella Coola
We support and conduct research to demonstrate the value and benefits of Guardian programs. Explore our collection of research
Work in partnership with other Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations and governments to advance Guardian issues locally, regionally, and nationally. Explore our Community Resources
10 Years of Listening
A hallmark of Nature United’s work to support Indigenous Guardians is listening.
Our $39-million investment in Coast Funds helped establish Indigenous Guardian programs in the Great Bear Rainforest, which now monitor 5.6 million acres.
Indigenous stewardship leaders identified priorities at a workshop co-hosted by Nature United, Tides Canada and the Indigenous Leadership Initiative.
Nature United conducted an inventory of on-the-ground Indigenous stewardship programs, based on successes, challenges and opportunities identified in the 2014 workshop.
A business case co-developed by Nature United and Coastal First Nations showed the benefits of Indigenous Guardians.
The online toolkit was launched by Nature United. After two years, the toolkit had been visited by 10,000+ users and more than 1,500+ resources had been downloaded.
Nature United launches a fund for Indigenous Guardian knowledge exchanges. As of 2019, more than 10 Nations have participated.
The technical support team for the Indigenous Guardians Toolkit provides virtual support through webinars, phone support, and more. The team will also work with some of Nature United’s partners to support Guardians on the ground.
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.
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.