Our Purpose

The IISAAK OLAM Foundation shares knowledge and builds capacity for Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs). The IISAAK OLAM Foundation manifests its purpose by incubating programs. Our programs and collaborations support Indigenous leadership in the conservation of biological and cultural diversity, the development of sustainable and resilient communities, reconciliation between Indigenous and newcomer societies, and innovative solutions for (re)connecting people with their environment. Our ultimate purpose is to support the establishment and long-term capacity of IPCAs and to educate Canadians about their value and relevance.

Our Values


“To observe, appreciate and act accordingly.” IISAAK is the highest law of the Nuu-chah-nulth constitution, represented at the top of the totem by the sun-moon crest. ‘Olam’ means ‘world’ and ‘forever’ in Hebrew, and the Hebrew phrase ‘Tikkun Olam,’ means “to repair, heal, or perfect the world.” It is a Jewish ethic of responsibility for the health of people and nature. Together, IISAAK OLAM means to “respect the world forever,” embodying the cultural values of the organization’s co-founders, Eli Enns and Monica Shore.

peace & Friendship

Canada is a multinational Euro-Indigenous state. The constitutional foundation stones of the country we know today as Canada was built upon sacred treaty relationships between European and Indigenous Nations in the spirit and practice of peace and friendship. These relationships were with one another, with Mother Nature, and with the Creator.


There is an unspoken Natural Law that requires us to respect that which has been provided, walk in the world with a grateful heart, and be generous with others. It is not just Indigenous Peoples that upheld this; Elder societies all over the world had generosity, love, and compassion as guiding principles and organizing concepts for how their societies worked.

In Nuu-chah-nulth and other coastal societies of the Pacific Northwest, hunting a whale was an important way to put the Natural Law of generosity into practice. Multiple whales would be hunted in one lifetime and each whale would provide a massive influx of resources to a nation/community. (A whale in today’s economy would be worth several million dollars.) However, when you brought home a whale, you wouldn’t keep it for yourself; you would share it with everyone. This generosity is one of the core elements of Indigenous economies and this stems from the ultimate responsibilities that we all have when we receive the bounty of nature.

The ISAAK OLAM Foundation is creating a modern, figurative whale hunt society; we are catalyzing a movement of empowered individuals and organizations that want to work together to create a peaceful economy based on generosity and reciprocity. The whale serves as a metaphor for how wealth can be shared with all of humanity regardless of skin colour, gender, or geography.

our Team

The IISAAK OLAM Foundation was co-founded in 2017 by Eli Enns (IISAAK) & Monica Shore (OLAM). Since then, the team has grown significantly and includes a Circle of Advisors, a Board of Directors, staff, and numerous contributors and partners.