Aurora borealis


Supporting Indigenous efforts to secure guardianship of the Boreal

What we know


of Indigenous communities in Canada are located in the forested regions


of the world’s Boreal zone is in Canada – 552 million hectares


of Earth’s land is located in the Boreal forest

Why it's important

The Boreal forests of North America’s northern most regions are among the world’s most expansive, containing over one-quarter of Earth’s remaining intact forests and massive stores of carbon.

At nearly 30 million hectares, Sahtu territory is one of the largest in the Boreal; threatened by demand for oil and gas, wood fiber, and commercial fishing.

Alongside the Indigenous Leadership Initiative (ILI) we’re supporting Sahtu efforts to secure national support and guardianship of their territory. In September 2019, Canada’s Nature Fund approved initial funding of US$1.9 Million for three proposals submitted by Sahtu for the establishment of Indigenous Protected Areas. With secure co-financing and committed Sahtu leadership, Nia Tero is providing multi-year support for Sahtu guardianship as a foundation for their nationhood.

In early 2020, Nia Tero partnered on video production with James Cameron, Harrison Ford, Peter Seligmann, and Nainoa Thompson for ILI’s Land Needs Guardians campaign. The success of this campaign lends momentum to work with the Government of Canada, ensuring Indigenous guardianship is recognized and supported within post-2020 Biodiversity, Climate, and Sustainable Development Goals. These partnerships have enabled us to amplify government support for Indigenous guardianship within Canada, and globally.

Panoramic view of birch trees in the snow

The Boreal forests are all within the territories of Indigenous Peoples who interweave identity, culture, and guardianship of thriving communities of life at a continental scale.

Related stories from the Boreal

Delve into highlights and stories from our Boreal programs and partnerships.

All Stories Related To Boreal

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Indigenous Guardianship