The Indigenous Protected & Conserved Areas (IPCA) Knowledge Basket

Recording

Eli Enns, President of IISAAK OLAM Foundation & Member of Leadership Circle, Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership

Soudeh Jamshidian, PhD
IPCA Knowledge Basket Coordinator IISAAK OLAM Foundation

A legacy initiative of the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership, the IPCA Knowledge Basket (ipcaknowledgebasket.ca) is a digital platform for reciprocal knowledge-sharing and collaborative learning in the spirit of ‘We Rise Together’. It was designed through a Two-Eyed Seeing approach to weave a diversity of resources and knowledge together in one place, while elevating Indigenous knowledge systems and supporting Indigenous-led conservation. Join us for a conversation with the IISAAK OLAM Foundation about how this exceptional resource came into being and how it might support the work of all parks and protected areas practitioners and researchers.

Enregistrement

Eli Enns, Président de la Fondation IISAAK OLAM et membre du cercle de leadership du partenariat «Conservation through Reconciliation»

Soudeh Jamshidian, PhD
Coordinatrice du Knowledge Basket APCA

Initiative héritée du Partenariat pour la conservation par la réconciliation, le « Knowledge Basket » de l’APCA (ipcaknowledgebasket.ca) est une plateforme digitale pour le partage réciproque des connaissances et l’apprentissage collaboratif dans l’esprit de ” Nous nous levons ensemble “. Il a été conçu selon une approche à deux yeux afin de réunir une diversité de ressources et de connaissances en un seul endroit, tout en élevant les systèmes de connaissances autochtones et en soutenant la conservation dirigée par les autochtones. Rejoignez- nous pour une conversation avec la Fondation IISAAK OLAM sur la façon dont cette ressource exceptionnelle a vu le jour et comment elle pourrait soutenir le travail de tous les praticiens et chercheurs des parcs et des aires protégées.

Capstone F: Pathways to Cultural Competency

This post was written to report the work of Capstone Team F, one of the teams of Park Leaders involved in the Winter 2021 Park Leaders Development Program

Team Members: Sarah Boyle, Brendan Buggeln, Megan Bull, Rachel Goldstein, Caroline Ipeelie-Qiatsuk, Tobi Kiesewalter

The federal and provincial governments of Canada have made commitments to advance reconciliation and renew relationships with Indigenous peoples based on rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. The road towards reconciliation is inevitably complex and difficult, and should involve the participation of all Canadians, on both a personal and professional level.

Every park, marine protected area, and heritage site administered by a parks organization in Canada is located within the traditional and ancestral territory of Indigenous peoples. This creates both an opportunity and a responsibility for parks leaders to advance reconciliation and foster respectful and positive relationships with Indigenous partners and communities.

Capstone Team F acknowledged that many non-Indigenous conservation staff, including at senior levels, have limited knowledge about how to develop cultural competency. While many staff want to learn more, they are often unsure where to start or become overwhelmed by the volume and complexity of resources, especially those designed for staff already experienced in working with Indigenous partners. As high-level discussions of reconciliation within parks continue to advance, there is a risk that the knowledge ‘ceiling’ may leave the ‘floor’ behind unless appropriate tools are available to help all parks employees develop baseline cultural competencies.

Capstone Team F’s goal was to create a collection of reconciliation-focused resources which allowed learners to proceed at their own pace. The resources were curated to allow for a natural progression from foundational learning on Indigenous communities and the impacts of colonialism toward constructive action to advance truth and reconciliation. To achieve this, the Team developed a user- friendly resource package, comprised of a thematically-organized database of resources and a suite of 12 learning pathways, all of which feature an organized set of resources centred around a particular theme. Most pathways are designed for learners with limited background of Canada-Indigenous relations, and each lists a Truth and Reconciliation Commission “Call to Action” which it aims to support.

The database and example pathways are by no means comprehensive, but provide a solid basis from which to begin a learning journey. The resource package may be used by supervisors to coordinate training sessions for staff (though it should never replace in-person training or the hiring of an Indigenous consultant), or it may be used by individual parks leaders for independent learning. The resource package is designed to develop cultural competency to help parks leaders advance reconciliation in their personal lives, in their professional relationships, and in their work. Above all, the resource package is intended to be a springboard for further learning, and to provide individual motivation for advancing reconciliation at a team, departmental or organizational level.

Recommendations for expanding the scope and increasing the impact of this work include:

Housing the database and learning pathways on a learning platform, such as the CPCIL website, where other users can continue to update the content

  • Testers, or site users, could provide feedback to help refine the tool, with the potential to add in a comment section or rating system so people can rate their experience with each resource as they use them.
  • The webpage would ideally be made publicly available, to make it accessible to a broader audience (e.g., teachers, municipal staff, health care workers).
  • Expansion of the database and pathways or the addition of other learning tools by future Capstone teams
  • A number of themes could continue to be explored and have pathways developed for them in the future, including but not limited to:
    • Northern cultural competency
    • Ethical Space
    • Environmental justice
    • Food sovereignty
    • Indigenous story and law
    • Status of women
    • Health
    • Language
    • Removing barriers to access
  • Some agencies, such as Parks Canada and the Federal Public Service, have invested significant resources towards creating in-depth learning websites and training resources, but these resources are not available publicly, even to other civil servants. Consideration should be given to options for providing access to these excellent resources to all civic servants, or the general public.

It is our hope that this Capstone project, and our recommendations for expanding the scope of the work, will contribute to existing efforts to advance understanding of Truth and Reconciliation in the public service. We have aimed to create a simple yet effective introduction to cultural competency, which may be useful to learners of all knowledge levels and spark motivation for a much deeper learning journey.

Conservation Through Reconciliation Resources

Working Towards a Solutions Bundle

The Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership is working with its partners to create The Solutions Bundle, an interactive website designed in Ethical Space to help build knowledge, capacity, and relationships in support of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) and Indigenous conservation leadership. The Solutions Bundle will combine the concepts of a western toolkit and an Indigenous medicine bundle and will serve as an example of Two-Eyed Seeing where Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge systems will be valued equally.  

The CRP is aiming to launch the Solutions Bundle in June 2021. In the meantime, we have created a temporary research engine to house resources and help share information.

Please visit https://conservation-reconciliation.ca/ipcaresources to learn more. To contribute resources or share ideas for improving the search function, please contact crpinfo@uoguelph.ca.