Government of Canada invests in 10 First Nations Guardians initiatives

Ontario: Indigenous peoples have been stewards of our natural environment since time immemorial. The Indigenous Guardians Pilot recognizes the many lessons that can be learned from Indigenous partners across the country and relies on Indigenous experience and Traditional Knowledge to ensure lands and waters are protected for generations to come.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced $600,000 in funding for 10 new initiatives under the Indigenous Guardians Pilot. Guardians act as the “eyes and ears on the ground.” These initiatives will enable First Nations to monitor ecological health, maintain cultural sites, and protect sensitive areas and species, while creating jobs.

As part of the $600,000 investment, the Deninu K’ue First Nation, located in the Northwest Territories, received $60,000 to monitor harvesting activities in Resolution Bay in order to prevent overfishing and irresponsible tourism. Guardians will continue their presence as stewards of the lake and educate travellers and community members about the cultural importance of the area, the history of the land and water, and the future generations that will rely on it.

The 10 successful initiatives were chosen by a joint working group of First Nations experts and federal representatives, and reviewed against rigorous criteria for their benefit to First Nations communities and sustainability.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Indigenous leadership in conservation to help protect ecosystems, species and cultures for future generations. Budget 2021 proposes to invest an additional $2.3 billion to conserve nature, including by continuing to support Indigenous Guardians.

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