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).

Technical Support Team
Technical Support Team: From Left to Right: Claire Hutton, Jonaki Bhattacharyya, Jimmy (James) Morgan, and Claire Menendez

What is the Indigenous Guardians TST?

The Indigenous Guardians Technical Support Team will provide various types of support to Indigenous Nations who are establishing or strengthening their Guardian programs. The TST builds on previous work by Nature United to support Guardian programs in Canada such as the development of the Indigenous Guardians Toolkit.

The TST includes 3 facilitators with diverse training and applied experience. The team works 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. Sign up here to receive information about the latest TST initiatives!


What services does the Indigenous Guardians TST offer?

The type of support we provide will depend on your specific situation and aspirations.  Are you interested in establishing a Guardian program and looking for steps to start? Does your Nation have a new Guardian program that is just getting up and running and looking for technical resources? Or does your Nation have a well-established Guardian program underway that is looking to reflect on how things are going? Whatever your situation, we are here to help! The TST offers two categories of free services to Indigenous Nations:

     Virtual Support

The TST will provide opportunities for Indigenous Nations and Guardian programs to access virtual support (over the phone or video call), including:

  • Indigenous Guardians Toolkit Intro – Schedule a one-hour introduction and walk-through of resources available in the Indigenous Guardians Toolkit.
  • Learning Webinars – Attend webinars every other month on priority topics, such as: building strength through Guardian networks; data tools for monitoring, etc.
  • One-on-One Coaching Calls – Book a call with TST to talk through where you’re at with your Guardian program, strategize around key issues you’re facing.
  • Indigenous Guardian Stories – Share your successes and lessons learned.  The TST can work with you to develop stories, a program profile and share resource through the Indigenous Guardians Toolkit.

Sign up here to receive updates about future webinars and connect with the TST. 

Jonaki and MCN
Jonaki works with Misipawistik Cree Nation Guardians Louis and Eva to map their patrol routes.


     In-Community Support (limited during 2020 pilot year)

The TST will provide direct in-community support to a limited number of First Nations who are existing partners, working with Nature United in British Columbia, Manitoba, and Northwest Territories. We hope to extend the direct in-community support to other Nations after the 2020 pilot year.

Jimmy and MCN
Jimmy looks at moose foraging activity with Misipawistik Cree Nation Guardian Louis, and Members and Lands Coordinator Devon


Who is the IG TST?

James (Jimmy) Morgan, TST Facilitator

Jimmy is Gitwangak Eagle working for Gitanyow, and brings many years of experience as a Guardian and supervising field technician, monitoring wildlife and fisheries, to his current work supporting Guardian programs in his own Nation, and other First Nations. He works as part of the federal First Nations Joint Working Group on Indigenous Guardians. Jimmy brings to the TST his years of experience with every aspect of Guardian work, from boots on the ground (and in water!) to crew supervision, operations, and program management.

Claire Menendez, TST Facilitator

Claire is a quantitative social scientist with a background in fisheries biology. She has experience working with First Nations in Ontario and BC to develop resource management practices and decision-making processes that recognize and support Indigenous authority. She is continually inspired by the passion and commitment Indigenous communities have for protecting their lands and waters, and is honoured to be able to support Indigenous Guardians in her new role. 

Jonaki Bhattacharyya, TST Coordinator

Jonaki is an ethnoecologist and environmental planner with extensive experience working with Indigenous Nations on resource management issues. Jonaki has worked to support a variety of Indigenous Guardians and programs across scales, from individuals working out field protocols, to integrating Indigenous knowledge with science, to network-level strategic planning and facilitation. She also specializes in Indigenous-led Protected and Areas and culturally appropriate wildlife stewardship.

Claire Hutton, TST Nature United Lead

Claire currently works as the Indigenous Stewardship Director at Nature United and provides support to the Indigenous Guardian Technical Support Team.  Claire has over 15 years’ experience working directly with First Nations to support their authority to manage their lands and waters. Claire helped to establish the Coastal Guardian Watchmen Network and continues to be passionate and committed to supporting the work of Indigenous Guardians.


How can you contact the Indigenous Guardians TST? 

Sign up to receive updates from the TST, or email us and let us know how we can help - [email protected]. Once we have your contact information, we will let you know about upcoming webinars and other opportunities. We can also set up a time to chat so that we understand more about your needs.