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Indigenous group seeks big funding boost for guardians to help protect lands

An Indigenous organization is asking for a big funding boost from the federal government to put more people on the land who observe and report on changes to the environment.

The Indigenous Guardians program trains and equips local band members to watch over their traditional lands and protected areas.

It got about $6 million for a pilot project in 2017, and the Indigenous Leadership Initiative is asking for $500 million over five years.

It has created more than 60 aboriginal groups from coast to coast that monitor changes to land and water and work with scientists to build up knowledge.

Such groups are built into the creation of new national parks and protected areas.

Indigenous participation is considered crucial to Canada meeting conservation goals of 25 per cent of its land area by 2025.

A report concluded every dollar spent generated more than two dollars in social returns.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 28, 2020

The Canadian Press