It was incredibly heartening to be in the room as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault made the announcement alongside Grand Chief Alison Linklater (Mushkegowuk Council), George Quviq Qulaut (Qikiqtani Inuit Association), Grand Chief Jackson Lafferty (Tłı̨chǫ Nation), and Dallas Smith (Nanwakolas Council), who represented the four initiatives.
The federal commitment is central to an innovative model we’ve been deeply engaged in — Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) — which brings together governments and the philanthropic community to provide funding for long-term protection and stewardship of lands and waters under Indigenous direction and control.
For the last five years, our Environment program has been prioritizing funding for Indigenous-led conservation. As I sat in Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome watching the historic announcement, I felt like something really significant had shifted.
Indigenous leaders were front and centre as the world came together to negotiate the new global biodiversity agreement, and for the first time, the rights and roles of Indigenous Peoples were acknowledged and included in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
As Canada strives to achieve its goal to protect and conserve 30% of lands and waters by 2030, we have an opportunity to reimagine how conservation is done in this country. In Montreal, the promise and potential of this next chapter was coming to life.
We look forward to continuing to support Indigenous leaders and Nations as they lead the way.
As always, I welcome your thoughts.