This collaborative seeks to implement a conservation finance solution to generate co-benefits that support social, economic and environmental interests in the spirit and practice of reconciliation.
As described by the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership: "by supporting the Indigenous-led conservation movement, we aim to help bring about the bold, transformative change to heal the relationships between humans and our planet, including relationships amongst human and non-human beings. We strive to model this change by centering Indigenous leadership, mutual respect, reciprocity, shared relationships, and a deep concern for our current condition. We hold a deep conviction that bringing about reconciliation in the conservation world will result in the transformation necessary to heal the planet."
Our collaborative is begining to have deeper dialogue on this transformation with the goal to infuse practices into our work that live out that intention of reconciliation. In order to move that forward, we have committed to begin a series of conversations facilitated by Indigenous leaders with guidance from Chippewa of the Thames First Nation.
We have started with two workshops facilitated by Leslee Whiteye, who we want to thank again for facilitating such a wonderful learning experience. The purpose of the workshop series is three-fold: to share, to reflect, and to learn.
To share the decolonizing journey with other people and connect more deeply with all partners. To reflect on the role of the land and better understand how to shift thinking and practices away from colonial ideas. To learn more about Indigenous communities and how to work together. And to learn more about what decolonization means for the conservation impact bond.
We walked through many different activities throughout the first two workshops, from Shapes of the Earth to Remembering our Home, from Land as our Teacher, and A Whole Way of Seeing. Some key learnings included getting a deeper understanding of kinship relationships to the land together, being aware that the current education system has raised generations of children who do not know what to protect, and that spirit, circularity, and harmony are all interrelated in Anishinabee culture and traditions.
We are learning to differentiate between decolonization work and resurgence, reclamation work. "For Anishinabee people, the greatest way to get to our ends is to focus on the second one" as Leslee says, "you have the right to be proud, identify with and promote what is yours to take pride in, and develop an intellectual tradition we call tradition, as a way of being, doing, seeing."
Here are some resources we have tapped into to aid in our learning journey: