Decolonizing conservation: Seven principles

Darcy Hitchcock

The western view of conservation has been to protect the land from people. But what Ken Burns referred to as America’s Best Idea, our National Parks, involved expelling native people from their own lands, lands that they had stewarded and protected for centuries.

Photo taken by Dale Graham on our 2019 trip to the Great Bear Rainforest

The conservation field is changing, realizing that working with indigenous peoples can improve outcomes for nature as well as the people (who are part of nature). Work in the Great Bear Rainforest has led to seven principles for a collaborative approach. These are explained in a recent article:

“Decolonial Model of Environmental Management and Conservation: Insights from Indigenous-led Grizzly Bear Stewardship in the Great Bear Rainforest.”

Seven tenets

  • (1) Stewardship of resources is inseparable from the Rights, Title, Responsibilities, self-determination, and sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples
  • (2) Practitioners steward interconnections among species, people, and…

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