Indigenous-led conservation is the way forward - Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

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Indigenous-led conservation is the way forward

Daniel Desjarlais, a member of West Moberly First Nations, gathers lichen for caribou in the Klinse-Za maternal pen (David Moskowitz)

Indigenous Peoples are leading the way on saving nature

Many global plans for combatting climate change and protecting biodiversity are increasingly focused on Indigenous-led conservation — and for a good reason. Indigenous Peoples have stewarded their lands successfully since time immemorial.

Elevating Indigenous leadership and rights is both the right thing to do and how we will help ensure healthy ecosystems can support all beings for many generations to come.

According to the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, around 90 percent of protected areas established in Canada in the last two decades were because of Indigenous partnerships or leadership; and, when Indigenous Nations in Canada “hold the pen” on land-use decisions, they protect more than 60 percent of their territories, on average.

Around 90 percent of protected areas established in Canada in the last two decades were because of Indigenous partnerships or leadership; and, when Indigenous Nations in Canada “hold the pen” on land-use decisions, they protect more than 60 percent of their territories, on average.

Indigenous Leadership Initiative

Your support boosts these efforts. Right now, Y2Y is a partner on Indigenous-led initiatives throughout the Yellowstone to Yukon region. This includes advocating for Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) that are co-governed by Indigenous nations and centered on Indigenous laws and knowledge.

Kaska Dena Territory in northern British Columbia. Credit: Camille Havas/Lichen Project

One example is a proposed IPCA in northern British Columbia: Dene K’éh Kusān, or ‘The People’s Way, Always’ in Kaska language.

The Dena Kayeh Institute leads this effort. In their new film, Gillian Staveley, who is a Kaska Dena citizen and director of culture and land stewardship for the Dena Kayeh Institute, explains the Kaska Dena’s plan for protecting this intact wilderness so Kaska people and their lands will always thrive.

“We want to see these landscapes managed in the right way. As long as our land is here, our language is here, our people are here, our ways of knowing will always be here.”

Join us on May 25 for a screening of this inspiring film and a conversation with the Dena Kayeh Institute and Y2Y!

Y2Y is an ally in achieving this vision through growing a network of support for the plan.

Indigenous Peoples are leading the way on saving nature. You are part of that movement! Join us in supporting this leadership by learning and sharing, getting involved, and through your continued generosity.