Resources in chapter Learn About Indigenous Guardian Programs

Section: What do Indigenous Guardians do?

Info sheet

Description of Some Typical Indigenous Guardian Activities

  • Actively patrol, monitor and demonstrate a presence on lands and waters.
  • Integrate local and traditional knowledge to manage and steward lands and waters.
  • Maintain and promote cultural continuity (youth elder mentorships, on-the-land youth programs, subsistence harvesting, language camps, etc.).
  • Monitor, research and collect data on priority issues (i.e. wildlife, climate, contamination, visitor impacts, illegal activity, compliance, etc.).
  • Analyze and use data collected to inform and influence management plans and decisions.
  • Prioritize and conduct ecological restoration work.
  • Work with the community and general public to ensure that laws, regulations, guidelines, and protocols are understood and followed.
  • Build relationships with and educate other resource users about key stewardship and management issues.
  • Support implementation of resource management plans and agreements.
  • Advance and uphold Indigenous authority to steward lands and waters.

Guardians may also fill a host of other roles such as park management or emergency response depending on the program’s priorities and resources.

In addition to paid program staff, many Indigenous Guardian programs also rely on community volunteers who are active on the land and water, and who can contribute significantly to the collection of local knowledge and other observations.

Info sheet

Description of Some Typical Indigenous Guardian Activities

“Indigenous Guardians programs strengthen our communities. They create jobs, lower crime rates and improve public health. But most importantly, they inspire our young people. They connect them to the land and their elders. They give them professional training tied to their language and culture. That offers hope that can combat the despair so many Indigenous youth feel today.”

Quote

"Indigenous Guardians programs strengthen our communities..."

Section: What are the benefits of Indigenous Guardian programs?

Story

Quantifying the Values and Benefits of Indigenous Guardian Programs on the coast of BC

“Having all of the benefits and activities of our Coastal Guardian programs written down in this report is so helpful because it provides a framework as our Guardian program continues to evolve and grow.  I can also use the findings in this report as ‘evidence’ when talking with government, industry and funders about the importance of our Guardian programs.” Ross Wilson, Metlakatla Stewardship

Story

Quantifying the Values and Benefits of Indigenous Guardian Programs on the coast of BC

Community resource

Analysis of Current and Future Value of Indigenous Guardian Work in Canada’s Northwest Territories - Indigenous Leadership Initiative and Tides Canada

Community resource

Valuing Coastal Guardian Watchmen Programs: A Business Case

This business case analysis of Coastal Guardian Watchmen programs was conducted by EPI International and commissioned by Coastal First Nation Great Bear Initiative and TNC Canada. The report examines the net value of program costs and benefits from the perspective of the First Nations that have these programs.

Community resource

Valuing Coastal Guardian Watchmen Programs: A Business Case

Section: Where are some established Indigenous Guardian programs?

Community resource

On the Ground Indigenous Stewardship Programs Across Canada – Inventory Project – TNC Canada

'On the Ground Indigenous Stewardship Programs Across Canada – Inventory Project' shared by TNC Canada is an inventory of existing on-the-ground stewardship programs conducted in 2015 that documented 22 programs across Canada. Profiles of each community and program provide details about the type of stewardship work engaged in, successes, challenges and opportunities.  

Community resource

On the Ground Indigenous Stewardship Programs Across Canada – Inventory Project – TNC Canada

Section: Indigenous Guardians in the News