Scott Duguid, Executive Director, Alberta Land Use Secretariat, “Collaboration and Relationship Building in Pathway to Canada Target 1”

Nov. 15, 2018
Hosted by the Canadian Parks Research Network at the University of Alberta

Link to Pathway to Target One

Summary Notes

  • Target 1: 17% terrestrial and 10% coastal marine protected in Canada (right now 13% terrestrial in Alberta)
  • Questions: is the conservation the right type of conservation? Is it meaningful?
  • Ecological considerations -> scientific perceptions about conservation can create challenges in Indigenous communities
  • There is a focus on renewed relationships that respect the rights, responsibilities, and priorities of Indigenous peoples to create collaborative partnerships
  • Duguid highlights self-determination as a big part of interaction between colonial and Indigenous governments. There needs to be recognition of the validity of Indigenous governments
  • Indigenous inclusion in the pathway process -> typically it has been federal/provincial/territorial (FPT) efforts with Indigenous partners in a National Steering Committee to guide FPT (Duguid believes this is not a good process)
  • Instead, develop a National Advisory Panel (NAP) to bring together various interests in Canada and report directly to the ministers.
  • It is important to include Indigenous Peoples in the NAP to advise ministers and involve the community (this is a change the government is trying to make)
  • Embed Indigenous knowledge into the entire governance of the project (with Minister McKenna and Minister Phillips as co-leads)
  • Creation of an Indigenous Circle of Experts (ICE) to work with NAP and advise ministers and produce recommendations on how a spectrum of Indigenous Protected and
  • Conserved Areas (IPCAs) could be realized in Canada to contribute to Target 1
  • However, ICE lacks representation from coastal Inuit groups and this reflects a challenge in the process (which communities are represented and which are not)
  • As well, Metis representation is different in each province
  • In the ICE membership structure, FPT government representatives are on the peripheral
  • 17% of terrestrial land isn’t meaningful to communities – what does it look like?
  • Strong youth involvement is needed
  • ICE takes a regional approach to incorporate the very different geopolitical landscape across Canada (treaties, land titles, no treaties, etc.)
  • ICE Report and Recommendations – 28 recommendations to support and recognize the establishment of IPCAs
  • “Lands and waters where Indigenous governments have a role in protecting and conserving culture and ecosystems through Indigenous laws, governance, and knowledge systems. Culture and language are at the heart and soul of an IPCA”
  • IPCAs are a space for elders to transfer key knowledge to youth – something they feel is disappearing but critical
  • IPCAs provide a space for cultural healing – there is a strong need for land and water to provide an area for this and get back to a way of life to heal as a community and culture
  • The land is under stress and needs to rest and heal – IPCAs will provide this space
  • IPCAs will provide a place to practice a traditional way of life (hunting, trapping, gathering, ceremonies, etc.)

Response from Workshop Facilitator, Thomas Snow

  • His mother is part of ICE – she feels rushed to transfer knowledge before completion (a challenge with government timelines)
  • He feels it is evident this is guided by Indigenous people
  • An ethical space and a ceremony guides how meetings are conducted and how advise generated and decisions and approvals are made
  • FPT members participate as individuals and leave behind the “government mandate” approach
  • This considers geopolitical realities
  • A care for land is at the foundation

Response from Mike Bruised Head

  • How is membership to ICE gathered? Not everyone is aware. Consider those with tribal or organizational mandates as well.

Workshop Breakout Session Comments

  • Indigenous voices first – guiding questions limit the conversations
  • Brady Highway – what do the settler communities want from Indigenous communities?
  • To take away knowledge?
  • Find a place to create space for Indigenous people to lead the way in conservation
  • Tension between “taking away knowledge” and wanting to engage with Indigenous communities
  • How can a single representative from Indigenous communities speak on behalf of a large amount of people (who all have varying values and opinions)?
  • Comparing differences between communities is not productive
  • “How to make this more human for Indigenous People” – with regards to collaboration on parks management and conservation
  • Challenges with framing PR – ensuring information shared to the public is fair to everyone
  • What about revenue generation for the local Indigenous communities?
  • Creating a place for productive conversations to occur and facilitate these discussions – the communities will decide what is appropriate for conservation management

Brady Highway, “Thundering Ahead: Campaign for Canada’s Wanuskewin Heritage Park”

Indigenous knowledge and conservation workshop.
November 15, 2018

Hosted by the Parks Research Network at the University of Alberta

Summary Notes

  • Partnerships need to make sense and involve local communities
  • Sharing in the resources and educating people – not just transferring knowledge for economic benefit
  • Unique part of the park – Elders council (contrast to Parks Canada which is very centrally focused) that helps to ensure their vision is implemented in the park
  • If research proposal does not make sense to the community it cannot be engaged with – Indigenous communities present the issues they would like to explore to researchers and government
  • Focus on education to visitors (40,000 visitors/year – this will likely triple)
    • Many visitors from school (K-12)
  • Indigenous communities want to be able to engage in their own research and publish their own findings
  • The park is considered a learning beacon with relationships to universities (with Indigenous methodologies in mind)
  • Hope to increase the size of the park – need partnerships and investments (in the local communities) for this
  • As capacity is built in parks – it needs to transfer into the local communities

Comments from Workshop Facilitator, Thomas Snow

  • How do we speak to important issues while we work within an institution?
    • Institutions are not always interested in changing, especially when driven by monetary means
    • Underlying theme in workshop – the need to build bridges, create relationships, and create allies within work places
  • One of the ways to do this – put Indigenous voices first

Workshop Breakout Session Notes

  • Indigenous voices first – guiding questions limit the conversations
  • Brady Highway – what do the settler communities want from Indigenous communities? To take away knowledge?
  • Find a place to create space for Indigenous people to lead the way in conservation
  • Tension between “taking away knowledge” and wanting to engage with Indigenous communities
  • How can a single representative from Indigenous communities speak on behalf of a large amount of people (who all have varying values and opinions)?
  • Comparing differences between communities is not productive
  • “How to make this more human for Indigenous People” – with regards to collaboration on parks management and conservation
  • Challenges with framing PR – ensuring information shared to the public is fair to everyone
  • What about revenue generation for the local Indigenous communities?
  • Creating a place for productive conversations to occur and facilitate these discussions – the communities will decide what is appropriate for conservation management