September 30, 2022
In commemoration of Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, EBC staff will commit to a day of reflection and furthering their learning about conservation through reconciliation. We invite you to do the same, and share with you these important resources, which have helped guide the work we do at EBC:
• A podcast series offered by the Indigenous-led Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership, available here: https://conservation-reconciliation.ca/podcasts
• A report called: Respect and Responsibility: Integrating Indigenous Rights and Private Conservation in Canada, click here to view.
EBC has been working towards advancing reconciliation by responding to the calls to action in the landmark Truth and Reconciliation report. In furtherance of CTA#14, about the preservation of Indigenous languages, EBC has been providing Indigenous names to our wilderness preserves. Just this year, we engaged in a robust consultation process with Indigenous groups and named Heaven’s Gate preserve “Kitchitwaa Shekwaandem”, which in Ojibwe signifies a path to a heavenly place. Presently, we are working to identify suitable names for several new wilderness preserves on Manitoulin Island.
In furtherance of CTA #45, about renewing treaty relationships, EBC has embarked on a project to learn about the treaty rights applicable in the lands where we operate, and to respect those treaty rights as we build and maintain our preserves. To that end, for the first time this past year, we have sent notification letters to First Nations groups, informing them in advance of our intention to establish a wilderness preserve on their traditional territory. Signage and language in our easement agreements are also being updated to better reflect the traditional hunting and harvesting rights of Indigenous people, who have stewarded the lands EBC protects, for eons.
By respecting the sovereignty and treaty rights of First Nations, and by doing our part to implement the calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, EBC hopes to preserve land in a better way, based on a more complete understanding of land conservation, grounded in the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.