The Government of Canada announced funding for 10 new projects under the Indigenous Guardians Pilot Program. The funding will support projects in 2020–2021 under the First Nations tier 1 stream of the Program.
The Indigenous Guardians Pilot Program strives to advance Indigenous-led work to protect and conserve ecosystems, develop and maintain sustainable economies, and reinforce cultural connection to the land.
The 10 successful projects were selected out of more than 100 proposals by a joint working group of First Nations experts and federal representatives. All proposals were reviewed against rigorous criteria for their benefit to Indigenous communities and sustainability.
“Reconciliation is a top priority for the Government of Canada. Our government recognizes that Indigenous Peoples have protected nature since time immemorial, which is why we are pleased to support their leadership in safeguarding our natural environment—for now and for generations to come,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
Guardians will act as the “eyes and ears on the ground” and the projects will enable First Nations to take action to monitor ecological health, maintain cultural sites, and protect sensitive areas and species. Both seasonal and full-time employment opportunities will be created as a result.
Indigenous Peoples are recognized worldwide as the protectors of nature, with Indigenous Peoples’ territories containing as much as 80 percent of the world’s remaining forest biodiversity. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Indigenous-led conservation programs to help protect ecosystems, species, and cultures for future generations.
To date, the Government has funded over 60 projects through the Indigenous Guardians Pilot Program, with a total investment of approximately $21.4 million.
The $600,000 in funding for 2020–2021 is divided into $60,000 for each of the 10 projects from across the country:
- Lennox Island First Nation Guardian Program, Prince Edward Island;
- Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick Guardian Program, New Brunswick;
- Atiku-napeu, Quebec;
- Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek Guardian Program, Ontario;
- Shkakamik Kwe Genwenmajig, Ontario;
- Fox Lake Cree Nation Guardian Program, Manitoba;
- Westbank First Nation Guardian Program, British Columbia;
- Williams Lake Indian Band Guardian Program, British Columbia;
- Ditidaht First Nation Guardian Program, British Columbia; and
- Kluane First Nation Guardian Program, Yukon.
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