13 February 2020
In Manitoba, Canada, First Nations people are ‘speaking for the moose’.
The moose is a cultural keystone species and with concern over declining moose populations, it’s a top priority for First Nations people.
It’s also part of a BHP Foundation project, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.
The project aims to secure lasting conservation results in nine million hectares of Canada’s boreal forest by demonstrating a new model of shared land management among First Nations, the Manitoba Government and industry.
The Canadian boreal is a major source of freshwater and biodiversity and part of the largest terrestrial carbon store on the planet. This plays a key role in regulating climate change.
It’s also home to hundreds of Indigenous communities that depend on the forest for their livelihoods and cultural wellbeing. However, a history of colonization and resource development poses critical challenges to community wellbeing and healthy ecosystems.
At a recent regional gathering in northern Manitoba organised by The Nature Conservancy, more than 40 First Nations representatives discussed moose management and Indigenous perspectives on their relationship to the moose.
Moose stewardship initiatives have been implemented in many First Nations communities as a way to take care of the territory and manage resources in accordance with Indigenous values.
Now, through The Nature Conservancy’s project, First Nations communities can also access moose-monitoring Guardian programs to guide natural resource management, apply for moose-related funding and complete a moose management plan.
It’s a holistic project that’s led by local communities and enable local people to deliver outcomes which build a resilient future.
And that will ensure the moose has a voice.