Knowledge Basket shares database of indigenous information to care for land and water

Correction made to the role of the source Steven Nitah and clarifications in certain paragraphs:

The Partnership for Conservation through Reconciliation has officially launched a new initiative called the IPCA Knowledge Basket. It will provide resources via a database to communities and managers involved in Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs).

These are lands and waters where Indigenous governments have the primary role in protecting and conserving ecosystems.

“Indigenous governments are at the forefront of protecting Canada’s largest, healthiest and most biodiverse areas,” said Steven Nitah, former member of the Indigenous Circle of Experts and current member of the Partnership for Conservation through Reconciliation Leadership Circle. He is also the Managing Director of Indigenous Affairs at Nature4Justice.

“The IPCA Knowledge Basket will help build their capacity to realize their visions and aspirations for the lands and waters they have managed for millennia.”

The IPCA Knowledge Basket is accessible to all and allows individuals to hear and see first-hand how conservation lands are established and maintained. In one of the links in the basket, readers are introduced to Guardians protecting conservation areas, including the Guardians of Salmon Streams in British Columbia’s Nuxalk Territory, and the Guardians of Nan Ye Dah, in British Columbia, who monitor moose, caribou, grizzly bears and fish.

“The basket represents the strength and beauty that we can create by weaving multiple knowledge systems together,” says the new knowledge basket website at

Nitah said the federal government’s goal is to have 30% of the country, both water and land, under conservation guidelines by 2030.

“It’s about supporting Indigenous nations who want to protect their special places within their homeland,” Nitah said. “It’s not necessarily on the reserve, but on their territory (to) take control of that area and manage it with their own laws and governance and sometimes in partnership with Crown partners to create these conserved protected areas. “

The IPCA was developed to support Indigenous leadership and conservation, in particular to support the implementation of recommendations that emerged from the Indigenous Circle of Experts working group in 2018. Twenty members of the working group developed the idea to have a central database. collect and share resources for other communities to refer to in conservation processes or initiatives.

“This digital space is an indispensable and valuable resource that can support Indigenous communities as they strive to reconcile with their hearts and feel their cultures, languages, practices, knowledge and ecosystems, while respecting their rights and responsibilities,” said Marilyn Baptiste. , former Chief of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, in a statement. “It ultimately reflects a true reconciliation.”

The Knowledge Basket encompasses information and experiences from each community in a shareable space. It includes advice stories about how they developed the programs in their communities, how land is used under conservation titles, and the steps each community took to get there. There are contact names, photos, legal documents, interviews and many other important information.

“The knowledge basket is a combination of all the different research that has been done. It contains academic reports, government reports, case studies of conserved indigenous protected areas, and different models and governance,” said Nitah.

“There are over 500 pieces of knowledge that can be used by Indigenous nations, communities and their allies and anyone who supports Indigenous leadership and conservation,” he said.

As more communities begin to access the knowledge basket and use the information to begin examining their own lands and the possibility of conservation, Nitah said the database will continue to grow with stories from others. communities.

“They will consider how they can use this information to shape their own initiatives,” he explained. “They’re not starting from scratch.”

Nitah said there is now access to information to support the vision of Indigenous communities for the creation of IPCAs and other environmental conservation or stewardship initiatives through the IPCA Knowledge Basket .

“Globally, the healthiest lands in the world today are those managed, owned or influenced by Indigenous peoples,” said Nitah. “What we do to nature is what we do to ourselves.”

The Partnership for Conservation through Reconciliation website is

By Crystal St. Pierre, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,,