Chapter 2

Learn About Indigenous Guardian Programs

Indigenous Guardians monitor, manage, and steward their lands and waters. Indigenous Guardians are “boots-on-the-ground” and act as the “eyes and ears” of the territory. 

Indigenous communities across Canada have different names for this important role, including guardians, watchers, watchmen, monitors, rangers, observers, etc. There are of course even more words in Indigenous languages for this role and these kinds of programs; each name reflecting unique local cultures, approaches and activities. Whatever the name, and however the work is organized and delivered, the Toolkit is designed to support the “doing” of this type of hands-on stewardship work. 

The term “Indigenous Guardian programs” is a catchall phrase we use in the Toolkit. It may not resonate with everyone, but regardless, we hope the information within the Toolkit is valuable.

Explore this chapter to learn:

  1. What Indigenous guardians do.
  2. The benefits of Indigenous Guardian programs.
  3. About some established Indigenous Guardian programs.
  4. How Indigenous guardians are connecting across Canada.