About the Toolkit

Indigenous Guardians Technical Support Team

Nature United is excited to announce our latest initiative to support Indigenous Guardians in Canada: The Indigenous Guardians Technical Support Team (TST).

The Indigenous Guardian TST will provide various types of support to Indigenous Nations who are establishing or strengthening their Guardian programs building on previous work by Nature United to support Guardian programs in Canada.

Three facilitators with diverse training and applied experience will work in concert with advisors (within and beyond Nature United) to help Indigenous Nations and Guardian programs identify priorities, address their needs, and learn directly from each other as they develop and grow Guardian programs.  The TST will provide in-community support to several Indigenous communities that work in partnership with Nature United, and virtual support to other Guardian programs and Indigenous Nations across the country. 


History of the Toolkit

The idea of creating an online Indigenous Guardians Toolkit was inspired by many discussions and meetings with Indigenous communities, leaders, and Guardian program practitioners.  In these conversations, communities reported finding themselves starting programs from scratch or working in isolation only to learn that others had already done similar work and had experiences, resources, and lessons to share.  In response, the solution of an online toolkit emerged—a central repository and resource for sharing and connecting around knowledge and experiences related to Indigenous Guardian programs.

The direction to create a toolkit was further reinforced at a meeting of Indigenous stewardship leaders from across Canada convened in Squamish, BC, in 2014 by Nature United (formerly TNC Canada), Tides Canada and the Indigenous Leadership Initiative.  Participants at the meeting provided ideas and guidance about how to collectively strengthen on-the-ground stewardship efforts and prioritized activities they saw as critical to advancing and broadening support for on-the-ground Indigenous stewardship (including Indigenous Guardians).  Based on the direction provided by this group and other partners, Nature United embarked on facilitating development of the Indigenous Guardians Toolkit.


Chapters in the Indigenous Guardians Toolkit

Map of the Toolkit

For a quick overview of the Toolkit that you can share with others download "The Indigenous Guardians Toolkit Brochure". For more information explore the chapter "Get to Know the Toolkit" where you can find out How to Use the Toolkit and How the Toolkit is Organized.


Contributors to the Toolkit

The Toolkit was developed by Nature United (formerly TNC Canada) in collaboration with Indigenous partners and practitioners, including an Advisory Group rich with experience in building and supporting Indigenous Guardian programs across Canada.  Special thanks to the Indigenous Guardians Toolkit Advisory Group who provided their insights and expertise to inform the content of the Toolkit as well as useful review and edits of draft versions: 

  • Kate Cave - Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER)
  • Steve Ellis - Tides Canada
  • Devlin Fernandes - Ecotrust Canada
  • Scott Harris - Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Society
  • Jana Kotaska - Coastal Stewardship Network
  • Georgia Lloyd-Smith - West Coast Environmental Law
  • Bruce Maclean - Mikisew Cree First Nation
  • Tara Marsden - Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs
  • Shaunna Morgan-Siegers - Indigenous Leadership Initiative (ILI)
  • Anna Schmidt - Taku River Tlingit
  • Dahti Tsetso - Dehcho First Nations

The content of the Toolkit also drew from over two dozen interviews summarized in the report, “On-the-Ground Indigenous Stewardship Programs Across Canada: An Inventory Project” as well as from many individuals who shared their experiences and insights about Indigenous Guardians generously and candidly with the project team.

The Indigenous Guardians Toolkit is a project of Nature United (formerly TNC Canada).  The Nature United project team who compiled information, drafted and authored the Toolkit include Claire Hutton, Amanda Karst, Karen Peachey, and Sandra Thomson. 


About Nature United

Nature United (formerly TNC Canada) is a Canadian charitable conservation organization that supports the authority of Indigenous peoples to steward and manage their lands and waters.  One of Nature United's priorities is to work in partnership with Indigenous communities to support and strengthen on-the-ground stewardship capacity such as Indigenous Guardians programs.  Nature United is the Canadian affiliate of the world’s largest conservation organization, The Nature Conservancy, and is advancing a global effort to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.