By the IISAAK OLAM Foundation
The purpose of the IPCA Establishment Productive Retreat was to bring together Indigenous Nations who are in the early phases of establishing Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) in their territories. The retreat was designed to proliferate knowledge on IPCAs by immersing attendees in a real life, breathing example: Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks. Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks represent 35 years of successful Indigenous-led conservation in Clayoquot Sound. This is also the place where our guests stayed throughout the retreat.
The retreat drew a total of 45 participants from numerous First Nations across Canada, Indigenous conservation organizations, the Canadian Wildlife Service, the David Suzuki Foundation, West Coast Environmental Law, Tides Canada, the Assembly of First Nations, Plenty Canada, and the IISAAK OLAM Foundation. Through interactive workshop discussions, participants shared their diverse experiences and knowledge as they collectively explored opportunities for advancing reconciliation and biocultural conservation through IPCAs. Discussions were framed in terms of four key elements that cannot be ignored in conversations about IPCAs: Jurisdiction, Financial Solutions, Capacity Development, and Cultural Keystone Species and Places. These four elements are known collectively as the “Four Moose” in the Indigenous Circle of Experts 2018 report, (We Rise Together). The Four Moose framed the discussions throughout the Productive Retreat, as participants discussed the practical aspects of how to go about establishing and supporting IPCAs in their territories.
This Productive Retreat was hosted by the IISAAK OLAM Foundation, Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks, and core members of the Indigenous Circle of Experts for the Pathway to Canada Target 1. Sponsors included the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada through the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership grant; the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Advisory Committee on Climate Action and the Environment, and the IISAAK OLAM Foundation.