The Government of Canada is investing $6.4 million in 22 First Nations-led projects through the Indigenous Guardians Pilot Program to protect clean air and clean water, fight climate change, and help protect a healthy environment for all. By working together, we are forming true nation-to-nation partnerships between First Nations and the Government of Canada.
First Nations guardians help monitor the impacts of climate change, protect and restore healthy ecosystems and cultural resources, and contribute to the recovery of species at risk. They also promote stewardship of the land and water, share knowledge between elders and the younger generation, and help to manage new Indigenous protected and conserved areas, including on-the-ground monitoring.
The Government of Canada is proud to be working closely with First Nations to renew our nation-to-nation and government-to-government relationships based on the recognition of rights, respect, and cooperation.
These investments are an important step forward in the strengthening and development of long-term partnerships to manage the land. When our lands and waters are healthy, we all prosper. The work we do together today can build a healthier and more sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna said, “The federal government is committed to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. For generation upon generation, First Nations Peoples have long been stewards of the lands and waters across the country we now call Canada, and their wisdom and knowledge are crucial if we are to protect and conserve the plants and animals we love. The First Nations Guardians Pilot Initiative provides support so that together we can fight climate change, protect ecosystems, conserve habitats, and make sure we are passing a healthy environment on to the generations to come.”
Almost $5.7 million of that $25 million has been invested in Indigenous guardians initiatives through an early round of funding in 2018–2019. The First Nations Guardians Pilot Initiative is committed to supporting new guardians projects. Remaining funding will become available in the next two fiscal years for new First Nations guardians initiatives.