Our Commitment to Reconciliation
Reconciliation is about balance and healing between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples, including non-profit organizations. We are an environmental organization that is settler-founded and has a staff and board that remains mostly-settler. Our ways of operating have been, and are currently, influenced by the norms and customs that have been forcibly imposed since the European colonisation of Canada. This is important to recognize as it carries specific responsibilities in our path towards Reconciliation. It is our desire and our obligation to reconcile the colonial past with the present and into the future. CPAWS Yukon acknowledges the responsibility to support First Nations and the Inuvialuit to safeguard the land, water and air for future generations. We commit to specific actions to help with our path towards Reconciliation, though we acknowledge that we will not be the ones to determine if they were effective. We recognize that we are in the early stages of an important journey, and for this reason, this is a living document and it will continue to evolve as we learn.
- Follow a path towards Reconciliation.
- Learn from, and be accountable for any mistakes we make and have made. We will work to reinforce and expand positive efforts and approaches.
- Be true partners with Yukon First Nations and other Indigenous Peoples as we seek to maintain species and places that shelter and provide for those species
- Continue to prioritize building and stewarding relationships with First Nations and Inuvialuit communities, citizens and governments. We recognize the responsibilities that come with these relationships and that trust is difficult to earn, but easily broken
- Recognize the history of colonialism that exists within conservation and environmental management and take action to ensure that it does not continue
- Create awareness about:
- The structures that were designed to foster and uphold colonialism, such as the Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius. It is helpful that these ideas have been renounced both nationally and internationally, in particular by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and through UNDRIP, though the concepts tied to them are still used today and impede the path to Reconciliation;
- How the environmental sector can support the abolishment of colonialism.
We are still far from Reconciliation, and acknowledge the fact that it is ultimately not for us to decide what is considered true reconciliation. Understanding the damage done through past and existing colonial institutions and practices, there is still much to learn and much healing to be done. We recognize that this commitment is just a step in our ongoing journey. With this work, we hope we can play a small role towards Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and we will play this role with humility, respect, and hope for a better tomorrow