Exploring Ethical Space: Land-based reconciliation in the Y2Y geography - Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

Exploring Ethical Space: Land-based reconciliation in the Y2Y geography

Ethical space water colour header of trees

What does land-based reconciliation look like in our region, and how do we get there, together?

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative has been hosting online workshops to learn and discuss how Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and organizations can work together to create and sustain prosperous communities and healthy landscapes across the Yellowstone to Yukon region.

The ethical space series started in late 2020, with a series of workshops covering a range of topics, including Indigenous authority, revitalizing Indigenous law, place based stories, partnerships for caribou recovery, intractable conflict, strategic regional competition, and transformative approaches to land based reconciliation.

If you have ideas for future sessions, or resources to share, please let us know by emailing Nadine Raynolds at nadine (at) y2y (dot) net.

“Reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians, from an Aboriginal perspective, also requires reconciliation with the natural world. If human beings resolve problems between themselves but continue to destroy the natural world, then reconciliation remains incomplete. This is a perspective that we as Commissioners have repeatedly heard: that reconciliation will never occur unless we are also reconciled with the earth.”                                  

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

Backgrounder and primer

Gwen Bridge shares an introduction to Ethical Space that serves as the foundation for the workshops and information that follows. This is perfect for those new to the concept or those who would like a refresher.

Deepen your understanding of the Indigenous worldview. Dive into Ethical Space and the roots of conflict within the hierarchical legislative frameworks of Indigenous and colonial societies and the challenges of understanding the legislative roles. The exercise of reconciliation of legislative frameworks requires the decolonization of Western structures and the indigenization of “Western” law, and the implementation of Indigenous law. Explore Ethical Space is as a place where we take responsibility for the creation of something new, and applying Indigenous law and decision-making to shape a new societal concept.

Gwen is an environmental scientist, conservation advocate and Indigenous advisor to Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.

Past workshops:

Bringing the Salmon Home: The Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative

A recording of a panel discussion on Nov. 22, 2022 about the Bringing the Salmon Home initiative, including presentations by Indigenous Knowledge Counsel members and Youth Salmon Warriors: Valerie Michel, Troy Hunter, Fred Fortier, Chad Eneas, Martina Escutin and Jade Montgomery-Waardenburg.

Buffalo Treaty: Creating and Enacting an Ethical Space from the Mountains to the Plains

A recording of a panel discussion on Oct. 26, 2022 with founding directors of the International Buffalo Relations Institute: Dr. Leroy Little Bear, Dr. Tasha Hubbard and Kyra Northwest, discussing the role Buffalo Consciousness, Buffalo Rematriation and ecological and cultural renewal play in North America.

Equity in Land-Use Planning Ethical Spaces and Upholding Responsibility

A recording of the Y2Y-hosted ethical space workshop “Equity in Land-Use Planning: Insights from Love-based Practices and Ethical Space” on June 23, 2022. We welcomed speakers Elaine Alec from the Syilx Nation and Secwepemc Nation, and partner in Alderhill Planning Inc., and Moe Nadeau, researcher and master’s student at Simon Fraser University.

Dene K’éh Kusān – Indigenous Led Conservation and the Kaska Dena’s Vision for the Stewardship of Dena Kayeh

Hosted on March 2, 2022, Gillian Staveley, the Director of Land Stewardship and Culture of the Dena Kayeh Institute, shared images, stories, and presented on the process of developing an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area in Northern B.C.

Getting Ready: Ethical Space, Indigenous Authority, and Reconciliation, facilitated by Gwen Bridge

The RELAW Program: Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air and Water with Jessica Clogg, Rayanna Seymour-Hourie, and Shelby Lindley.

Indigenous Story and Law with Lauren Terbasket

Partnerships for Caribou Recovery: Protecting the Sacred Twin Sisters Area

A Ktunaxa Ethical Space Context and Consideration with Michele Sam

Additional reading and resources

The social, cultural, legal and policy landscape regarding the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada is evolving rapidly. We are all called to explore what reconciliation means to us individually and for our organizations, communities, economies, laws and governance structures.

Here are some resources that may help. If you have additional resources, readings or links to include, please email Nadine Raynolds at nadine (at) y2y (dot) net.

Thank you to our presenters as well as event sponsor for their support: