Beyond Conservation: A Toolkit for Respectful Collaboration with Indigenous Peoples (NACW 2023 presentation)

Kristin Clark
Amanda Sheedy
Indigenous Knowledge Circle (IKC) of the National Boreal Caribou Knowledge Consortium (NBCKC)
Resource Date:

This presentation was prepared for the 2023 North American Caribou Workshop, and is uploaded here to the CCLM so that conference attendees and non-attendees can review the presentation at their leisure.

Abstract: After centuries of colonialism and injustices towards First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, many Canadians are seeking to do things better by working collaboratively and inclusively with Indigenous Knowledge Systems to protect, restore and conserve species and natural environments. In recognition of the history of Indigenous people in Canada, and with agreement that it is time to change, the Indigenous Knowledge Circle (IKC) of the National Boreal Caribou Knowledge Consortium (NBCKC) created a toolkit to provide guidance for a new way of working that is rooted in reconciliation, healing, and collaboration. The toolkit is broadly applicable, but particularly relevant to a wide-ranging species like caribou, which requires concerted conservation and recovery efforts between regional and jurisdictional  boundaries and across Western and Indigenous ways of knowing. Aimed mainly at a non-Indigenous audience, the toolkit features ten guiding principles for cross-cultural collaboration and many practical tips, tools, and resources for applying them. It contains considerations for what kind of background training and awareness people should seek before entering into collaborative work with Indigenous partners, how to build relationships, and how to work with multiple knowledge systems. This presentation will highlight the key components of the toolkit, and demonstrate how to access and use them to encourage respectful relationships with Indigenous Peoples for the conservation and stewardship of caribou. The toolkit is even more powerful when paired with the Boreal Caribou Monitoring Toolkit, also created by the NBCKC.