Westcoast IPCA Support Program

Supporting Indigenous conservation leadership along the west coast of BC

Initiative level: National Impact

Project Summary

As a branch of the Pacific IPCA Innovation Centre, WISP aims to galvanize a thriving Indigenous-led regional economy that generates social, ecological, and economic value through culturally-informed approaches to stewardship and development. WISP fosters opportunities for collaboration, strategic visioning, and alliances among First Nations interested in working together for future generations.

WISP is a collaborative, hishuk-ish tsawalk (everything is one, everything is interconnected) framework where CICICA, the IISAAK OLAM Foundation, and T’Sou-ke First Nation come together to amplify the impact of parallel, interconnected projects.

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National Impact

Westcoast IPCA Support Program

IISAAK Olam's Role

IOF conceived of, and designed, the West Coast IPCA Support Program (WISP), as a way to ensure long-term, continuous support for Indigenous Nations that are interested in Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas from the Pacific Northwest all the way down to South America.


2022 to present

Where it's at now

WISP is currently working on three interconnected projects that offer opportunities to advance First Nations cultural, ecosystem stewardship, and economic priorities

Get involved

Numerous initiatives are supported by WISP: The BigCoast Forest Climate Initiative, Westcoast IPCA Ambassador Program, and the Indigenous-led West Coast Stewardship Corridor. Learn more below.

The WISP is currently working on three interconnected projects that offer opportunities to advance First Nations cultural, ecosystem stewardship, and economic priorities


The BigCoast Forest Climate Initiative

This long-term initiative is a commitment by Mosaic Forestry Management to voluntarily defer logging 40,000ha of old growth forest on the east coast of Vancouver Island and on Haida Gwaii. WISP is partnering with Mosaic to support all interested First Nations whose territories encompass the deferral area to develop an IPCA Strategy that can include: alternative economic development, sustainable housing solutions (IPCA EcoVillages), second growth/buffer area protection, and baseline research/species inventorying.

  • Sustainable Livelihoods Program

  • IPCA EcoVillages

  • Ecosystem Monitoring and Research


Westcoast IPCA Ambassador Program

The Westcoast IPCA Ambassador Program is designed for Indigenous peoples ages 18-35 who are members of First Nations along the west coast of BC. This program is about informing participants about the challenges and opportunities of conservation initiatives happening within their territories and providing them with the tools and resources to advocate for change.

  • Capacity Development

  • Knowledge Mobilization

  • Youth Training

The 2023 Westcoast IPCA Ambassador Program is pictured below. Please email Abby Sparling, wisp@ipcainnovation.ca, if you are a First Nations member on Vancouver Island (between the ages 18-35) interested in future programming opportunities.


The Indigenous-led West Coast Stewardship Corridor

Mission: to connect interested First Nations and communities who wish to participate along Vancouver Island, improving relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, fostering collaboration between First Nations, and creating a corridor of cultural and ecological connectivity based on our shared responsibilities and ancestral teachings.

  • Cultural Corridors

  • Ecosystem Restoration

  • Shared Responsibilities

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