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