Envisioning and Catalyzing the Indigenous-led Conservation Economy
RAD (Restore, Assert and Defend) Network

The Restore, Assert and Defend (RAD) Network was formed in 2022 to enable conservation finance pathways rooted in Indigenous rights, responsibilities, and knowledge systems.

The RAD Network — supported by the Metcalf Foundation, NRDC, and WWF Canada, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, and others — aims to change that by advancing collaborative solutions to restore relationships and Indigenous knowledge systems, assert Indigenous rights, and defend lands and waters.

In April 2023, the RAD Network hosted a gathering entitled Restore, Assert and Defend (RAD) Network: Envisioning the Indigenous-led Conservation Economy. The gathering was held on the unceded and unsurrendered Territory of the Wolastoqiyik at St. Mary’s First Nation, at Sitansisk (also known as Fredericton, New Brunswick). Over 80 individuals from 60 organizations and Nations traveled from coast-to-coast-to-coast to participate, including Indigenous leaders, Knowledge Carriers, land stewards, and partners to connect, share perspectives, and envision pathways forward. The intent was to co-create a shared vision for the emergent network and determine how to move forward together to advance Indigenous-led, regenerative conservation rooted in abundance.

This report provides an overview of the events and outcomes of the visioning gathering, including a preview of where the RAD Network is headed.

The report includes three main sections:

  1. an introduction to the RAD Network and the context;
  2. a summary of the approach and flow of the visioning gathering in Fredericton, including an overview of what was heard and key themes that emerged from the discussions; and
  3. a look ahead at potential working groups, activities, and outputs to be explored as a network.