Aboriginal Peoples and Canada’s Parks and Protected Areas (2007)

Report

“Best Practices” in Collaborating with Aboriginal Communities

Canada’s park agencies have a long and diverse history of working with Aboriginal communities. One of the Council’s strategic directions  is to “support agencies’ efforts to address Aboriginal interest in parks and protected areas.”

In 2000, the CPC prepared and presented to Parks Ministers a discussion paper on Aboriginal tourism in parks. This was followed-up in 2001 with Parks Canada convening a Round Table on Aboriginal Tourism. 

At their fall 2006 meeting, Parks Ministers directed the Council to enhance its work on this strategic direction. In response, the Council has developed a series of “best practices” case studies profiling leading collaborative work between park agencies and aboriginal communities. This approach will help to identify recent innovations and successes, common challenges, and opportunities for shared learning.

Case study text reviewed by profiled communities to ensure their concurrence. Designed by aboriginal-owned communications company. Preface authored by Patterk Netser, Nunavut’s Minister responsible for Parks. 

Les « bonnes pratiques » de collaboration avec les collectivités autochtones

Les organismes responsables des parcs au Canada ont une longue expérience de la collaboration avec les collectivités autochtones sous diverses formes. Le CCP a pour orientation stratégique, entre autres, d’appuyer les efforts déployés par les organismes pour tenir compte des intérêts des Autochtones dans les parcs et les aires protégées. 

En 2000, le CCP a préparé un document de travail sur le tourisme autochtone dans les parcs, document qu’il a présenté aux ministres responsables des parcs. Parcs Canada a ensuite organisé une table ronde sur le tourisme autochtone en 2001. 

Lors de leur rencontre de l’automne 2006, les ministres responsables des parcs ont demandé au Conseil d’axer ses efforts dans cette direction. En réponse, le Conseil a rassemblé une série d’études de cas mettant en évidence les « bonnes pratiques » de collaboration entre les collectivités autochtones et les organismes responsables des parcs.

Cette approche permettra de cerner de façon stratégique les innovations et les réussites récentes ainsi que les occasions d’apprentissage et les défis communs.

On a demandé aux collectivités concernées de revoir le texte des études de cas, au besoin, afin d’obtenir leur accord. Le document a été conçu par une entreprise de communication autochtone. La préface a été rédigée par Patterk Netser, ministre responsable des parcs du Nunavut. 
 

The Importance of Being Permanent

Report

The Importance of Being Permanent: Permanent Protected Areas as Natural Solutions for Climate Change

Current protected areas are projected to have very different species, ecosystems, and ecological functions under various climate change scenarios. Despite the potential for significant ecological transformation over time, permanent protected areas remain one of the most effective ways to conserve biodiversity in a changing climate. They are valuable natural assets that contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation while providing a range of additional environmental, social, and economic benefits. They protect a great deal of geophysical and biological diversity, and they are spaces for species and ecosystems to adapt in place. Permanence sustains the ability to continue to practice Indigenous ways of life, maintaining cultural resilience into the future. Maintaining current protected areas and creating new permanent protected areas remains critical to our adaptability as anthropogenic climate change progresses.

 Making the business case for permanent protected areas is an important step in the planning process. Complementary strategies have been proposed to meet the climate change challenge. Examples include focusing on potential climate refugia for new protected areas, adjusting protected area boundaries, and establishing temporal conservation measures to meet short-term life stage needs of species. These alternative strategies, however, cannot replace permanent protected areas. The importance of maintaining permanent protected areas must also be emphasized.

The Importance of Being Permanent Quick Facts Table contains summary information, quotations, and additional resources that underline the importance of permanence for various social and ecological priorities (e.g. biodiversity, research, ecosystem services, cultural practices, etc.) in the face of climate change. The table covers eight protected area topics and three key messages for use by those who wish to communicate the value of permanent protected areas as part of a natural solution to climate change adaptation. It was developed by members of the Canadian Parks Council Climate Change Working Group, a collaborative group consisting of members from Canada’s national, provincial, and territorial parks and protected areas agencies.

In a changing climate, permanent protected areas are more important than ever.

That’s because permanent protected areas conserve…

·         … geophysical diversity, protecting enduring landforms and abiotic components

·         … ecological integrity, protecting essential ecosystem functions and processes

·         … biological diversity, protecting representative ecosystems and species

·         … ecological resilience, protecting nature’s ability to withstand disturbance

·         … climate refugia, protecting spaces where changes will be more gradual

·         … living laboratories, protecting benchmarks for research

·         .. ecosystem services and natural infrastructure, protecting essential services for communities

·         … places that engage and inspire people, protecting human health, wellbeing, and connection to nature

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CPCIL Webinar: Speaking Histories about Parks and Protected Areas (Recorded)

Recording of Webinar

Facing many changes and opportunities, the stories of parks and protected areas need to be shared, understood—and reconsidered—to reflect the role of parks in efforts of conservation, connection, and now Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

This webinar was the result of a CPCIL invitation to present the national history of parks and protected areas in Canada, while including the perspective of an Indigenous scholar reconnecting to their land and language. One of the panelists is a biologist and manager in federal protected areas, while the other an Indigenous languages advocate whose ancestors had been removed from what is now referred to as Wood Buffalo National Park. Both presenters hope to spark a meaningful conversation about the historical contexts of parks and protected areas, and the involvement and inclusion of Indigenous Peoples and their rights when co-developing parks and protected areas.

Panelists          

Olaf Jensen

Protected Areas Program Director        

Canadian Wildlife Service                     

Kyle Napier

Dene/nêhiyaw Métis

Northwest Territory Métis Nation

Report of the Canadian Parks Council Climate Change Working Group

This report highlights the roles of parks and protected areas in climate change adaptation and mitigation, and some of the actions taken to date by provincial, territorial and federal parks and protected areas agencies as they respond to the challenge of rapid climate change.

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The report builds on the work of the Canadian Council on EcologicalAreas and others who have identified the need for greater collaboration across jurisdictions on this issue. Recognizing this need, the Canadian Parks Council (CPC) Climate Change Working Group is coordinating these efforts to build understanding and capacity among jurisdictions to respond to climate change and identify opportunities to work together.

Canada’s parks and protected areas hold great promise as part of a natural solution to climate change. At the same time, there is much more to do to expand our protected areas networks, connect natural spaces, restore ecosystems and habitats, bring back native species, and inspire and engage Canadians. By reaching across boundaries, sharing best practices and learning from one another, parks and protected areas agencies can strengthen their contributions to climate change adaptation and mitigation. The goal of the members of the CPC Climate Change Working Group is to encourage the creation of ecologically resilient networks of parks and protected areas, connected through sustainably managed landscapes and seascapes, as a key part of the solution to Canada’s climate change challenges.

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Connecting Canadians to Nature

Our national, provincial and territorial parks play an important role in connecting Canadians to nature, pro- viding unparalleled natural classrooms and playgrounds for Canadians of all ages. As hosts to natural areas of exceptional beauty, and with a mandate and expertise to reach the public and set them on a path to discover and experience nature, Canadian park agencies are passionately committed to connecting all Canadians with nature. We see this as a fundamental priority and critical investment in both this generation and generations to come. Connecting Canadians with nature is an essential investment in Canada’s long-term prosperity.

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No one sector or level of government alone can ensure that Canadians benefit from contact with nature. We need collaboration across a wide range of interests — from educators to health care professionals to urban planners and beyond – to forge new bonds between Canadians and nature. Only in working together can we nurture healthy lifestyles, support strong, vibrant communities, and provide our children with the best future we possibly can.

Federal, provincial and territorial park agencies in Canada, working through the Canadian Parks Council, have prepared “Connecting Canadians with Nature — An Investment in the Well-Being of our Citizens”, a report synthesizing the growing evidence related to the benefits of connecting Canadians with nature. 

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