Eli Enns, President of the Iisaak Olam Foundation, speaks on the importance of Indigenous led nature conservation and Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas.
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ELI ENNS (President and Chief Problem Solver, IISAAK OLAM Foundation):
IPCAs is generic terminology for a whole myriad of Indigenous-led protected and conserved areas across Canada. On the west coast of Vancouver Island where I’m from on my father’s side, we call them Tribal Parks.
Some of these concepts that… the place names that we have for our Tribal Parks, Wah’nah’juss Hilth’hoo’iss, for the Meares Island Tribal Park, is a modern-day application of a very old way of understanding relationship between humanity and the rest of the world.
The founding constitutional agreements of this country, the Peace and Friendship Treaties, were the earliest multilateral environmental agreements, because they weren’t just about peace and friendship between Europeans and Indigenous nations, it was about living respectfully with the land and water.
And so, I think that parks and protected areas are a really good opportunity to meaningfully forward the conversation around reconciliation.
At the end of the day, most people want the same things. We just have some different ideas about how to get there.
And so, IPCAs is one path towards that mutually beneficial future.