Gitanyow IPCA B.C. The Narwhal-018

Spirits of Place

Since time immemorial, Indigenous Peoples have cared for their homelands and lived in balance with their surroundings. 

Although Indigenous people comprise only five per cent of the global population, they steward 80 per cent of the Earth’s biodiversity. Across what is commonly called Canada, Indigenous Peoples are defending some of the most unique, irreplaceable and fragile ecosystems from degradation and destruction. 

Indigenous-led conservation initiatives have become a cornerstone of Canada’s plans to protect 25 per cent of its land and water by 2025, and 30 per cent by 2030. Since 2018, they have received more than a billion dollars in federal funding. As the catastrophic consequences of climate change pile up and biodiversity plummets, these initiatives are more critical than ever. 

But Indigenous-led conservation is about more than safeguarding the lands and waters. It’s also about expressing and sustaining rights, language, culture, knowledge and relationships to the unique spirit of each protected and conserved place. 

In Spirits of Place we’ll explore the many ways Indigenous communities and nations are enacting their responsibilities to their lands, waters and future generations — big and small, ancient and new, independently and in partnership — and what those efforts mean for all of us.

This coverage is made possible by funding from Metcalf Foundation and MakeWay Foundation. As per The Narwhal’s editorial independence policy, the foundations have no editorial input.

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