IPCA Planning Certificate

Canada’s first post-secondary program dedicated to Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs)

Initiative level: National & Regional Impact

Project Summary

In partnership with the IISAAK OLAM Foundation, Vancouver Island University has led the design of Canada’s first post-secondary program specializing in planning for Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs).

The advanced IPCA Planning Certificate will train the next generation of professional planners and build capacity to support the establishment, management, and governance of IPCAs in British Columbia and across Canada.

The certificate includes six distinct and interconnected courses. Course delivery is designed to serve individuals who may be employed full-time and who are seeking ways to advance their learning in areas relating to reconciliation, conservation, and planning.

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National & Regional Impact

IPCA Planning Certificate

IISAAK Olam's Role

Program design and development, course delivery.

Timeline

For the 2022-2023 cohort, the first course begins on September 26, 2022. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, and spots are filling fast. Apply now!

Where it's at now

The first cohort begins on September 26, 2022.

Get involved

Registration is now closed.

PROGRAM DELIVERY

Course #1

IPCA 407 - IPCA Field Study

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Monica Shore

This course is an in-person, on-the-land intensive in Tla-o-qui-aht Territory (Tofino, BC). The first cohort will take place during the week of September 26-30, 2022.

This course consists of an experiential and immersive field study in an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA). Students will engage meaningfully with the people, place, and culture, reflecting critically on their social positions, worldviews, and approaches to planning.

Course #2

IPCA 417 - Intro to IPCAs

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Dr. Soudeh Jamshidian

IPCA 417 – Intro to IPCAs – will be taught virtually on the following Fridays in 2022 from 9am to 5pm Pacific: October 28, November 4, November 18, November 25 and December 2nd.

This course introduces students to the definitions, principles, and practice of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) in Canada. Students will learn international and domestic policies relevant to IPCAs and the role of Treaty relationships between Indigenous Nations, their lands, and newcomer societies. Diverse examples of IPCAs are presented.

Course #3

IPCA 427 - Indigenous Knowledge Systems

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Dr. Allyson Menzies

This course will be taught virtually on the following Fridays in 2023 from 9am to 5pm Pacific: January 20, January 27, February 3, February 10 and February 17th.

This course introduces students to the principles of planning with an Indigenous knowledge systems lens, as informed by Indigenous and Natural Laws. Ethical Space is presented as a knowledge systems interface to promote equitable and respectful engagement between Indigenous and Western approaches to planning for Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas.

Course #4

IPCA 457 - Ecological, Cultural, and Socio-Economic Opportunities

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Eric Wilson

This course will be taught via a hybrid delivery model, with opportunities for in-person and virtual participation. The virtual classes will take place on the following Fridays in 2023 from 9am to 5pm Pacific: Apr 14, Apr 21, Apr 28, May 5, May 12.

This course explores the roles of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) in promoting ecological, cultural, and socioeconomic well-being. The course explores roles and opportunities for IPCAs in habitat protection, ecological restoration, cultural revitalization, reconciliation, food sovereignty, and economic resilience, with specific reference to the BC context.

Course #5

IPCA 447 - History, Law and Politics in BC

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Dr. Justine Townsend

This course will be taught virtually on the following Fridays in 2023 from 9am to 5pm Pacific: June 2, June 9, June 16, June 23, and June 30.

This course provides a historical overview of Indigenous and newcomer relations in British Columbia, focusing on the legal and jurisdictional implications of this history for Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs). Aboriginal Title, Treaties, case law, and modern agreements are explained, and diverse governance options for IPCAs in BC are explored.

Course #6

IPCA 437 - Creating IPCAs

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Eduardo Sousa

IPCA 437 will be taught virtually on the following Fridays in 2023 from 9am to 5pm Pacific: September 8, September 15, September 22, September 29, October 6.

This course explores practical considerations for planning, establishing, and managing Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs). Students will learn about processes and pathways for establishing IPCAs, jurisdictional considerations, capacity and financial needs of IPCAs, connections to Indigenous cultures, and the roles of planners in supporting IPCA planning, establishment and management.

Program Overview

What are IPCAs?

“IPCAs are lands and waters where Indigenous governments have the primary role in protecting and conserving ecosystems through Indigenous laws, governance and knowledge systems” (Indigenous Circle of Experts, We Rise Together report, 2018).

The Government of Canada has recognized that IPCAs are an innovative land-use planning tool for achieving the goal of protecting 25% of lands and waters by 2025 and 30% by 2030. BC’s current protected area land base is 15%.

Program Outcomes & Benefits

The IPCA Planning Certificate will help educate a new generation of planners with the skills, knowledge and capacity to support the establishment and stewardship of IPCAs and other Indigenous-led conservation initiatives in the BC context. Students will gain a greater understanding of Indigenous approaches to land relationship planning and the holistic and integrated approach to stewardship that IPCAs represent. They will gain an increased ability to navigate the interface between Western and Indigenous knowledge systems, laws, and governance systems using frameworks such as Ethical Space and Two-Eyed Seeing.

Admission Requirements

Completion of post-secondary diploma or completion of minimum of 54 academic credits including VIU’s Degree English Requirement.

Students who do not meet the minimum requirements may be accepted by the the program director on a case by case basis.

Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements are not guaranteed to be admitted to the program. 

Partners

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Frequently Asked Questions

Terms & Definitions

“…lands and waters where Indigenous governments have the primary role in protecting and conserving ecosystems through Indigenous laws, governance and knowledge systems” (Indigenous Circle of Experts, We Rise Together report, 2018). 

 

The Government of Canada has recognized that IPCAs are an innovative land-use planning tool for achieving the goal of protecting 25% of lands and waters by 2025 and 30% by 2030. BC’s current protected area land base is 15%.

Ethical Space is a framework for guiding respectful interaction across cultural differences in a way that upholds the fundamental integrity of all knowledge systems entering that space. It is a model that creates a space of mutual trust, respect, equality, and collaboration.

Ethical Space allows for a space of discussion and planning with various knowledge systems when no one knowledge system is seen as superior.

Two-Eyed Seeing is an approach of inquiry and solutions in which people come together to view the world through an Indigenous lens with one eye (perspective), while the other eye sees through a Western lens.

About the Program

The IPCA Planning Certificate will help educate a new generation of land planners with the skills, knowledge and capacity to support the establishment and stewardship of IPCAs and other Indigenous-led conservation initiatives.

Students will gain a greater understanding of Indigenous approaches to land relationship planning and the holistic and integrated approach to stewardship that IPCAs represent. They will gain an increased ability to navigate the interface between Western and Indigenous knowledge systems, laws, and governance systems using frameworks such as Ethical Space and Two-Eyed Seeing.

The 6 courses will be delivered over 12 months. All courses are completed in 40 hours.

Course #1 (IPCA 407 – IPCA Field Study) is an in-person, on-the-land intensive in Tla-o-qui-aht Territory (Tofino, BC). The first cohort will take place during the week of September 26-30, 2022.

Course #2 (IPCA 417 – Intro to IPCAs) will be taught virtually on the following Fridays in 2022 from 9am to 5pm Pacific: October 28, November 4, November 18, and November 25

Course #3 (IPCA 427 – Indigenous Knowledge Systems) will be taught virtually over four Fridays beginning in January 2023 from 9am to 5pm Pacific): January 20, January 27, February 3, and February 10

Course #4 (IPCA 437 – Planning for IPCAs) will be taught virtually in April of 2023 (exact dates TBC)

Course #5 (IPCA 447 – History, Law and Politics in BC) will be taught virtually in June 2023 (exact dates TBC)

Course #6 (IPCA 457 – Ecological, Cultural, and Socieconomic Opportunities) will be taught via a hybrid delivery model, with opportunities for in-person and virtual participation.

Program development is supported through funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC, the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership, and Mitacs, as well as in-kind support from the IISAAK OLAM Foundation.

Program delivery is through the Vancouver Island University and the IISAAK OLAM Foundation.

Though this program is welcome to anyone and will benefit folk doing land management work anywhere in Canada – this program does have a focus in British Columbia. This is intentional as the legal and geopolitical landscape of each province is unique.

Our hope is that more region based courses like this will be created across Canada and the world.

Registration to the program takes place on Vancouver Island University’s website. APPLY HERE.

The application deadline is August 31, 2022. (The first class begins on September 26, 2022.) Interested applicants should register as early as possible. There are approximately 22 seats available and eligible applicants are admitted on a “first come, first served” basis.

FAQs

We will be following all provincial health orders and safety protocols for Covid-19 at the time of the field school.

For the 2022-2023 cohort, each course will cost $1,200 CAD ($400 per credit–3 credits per course). The first course (IPCA 407) is an in-person field course in Tla-o-qui-aht territory and has an additional field course fee of $2,000 CAD.

In total, with other student fees including the healthcare plan the cost of the entire certificate in 2022-2023 is $9,942.26 CAD. (Each year, costs are subject to a standard 2% increase.)

Priority will be given to those who apply for the entire certificate program. After the registration deadline (August 31, 2022), we may consider accepting applicants who are only interested in one course.

The IPCA 407 field course in September 2022 has more restricted participation for two main reasons: (1) Space at the Clayoquot Campus is limited; (2) It is designed as a relationship building experience for those enrolled in the entire program.

Anyone interested in the IPCA 407 field school is advised to reach out to the IISAAK OLAM Foundation to learn about productive retreats at the Clayoquot Campus.