Reconciling our relationships to preserve Mother Earth for future generations

Voices of Indigenous youth leaders on reconciliation

First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities have always nurtured a deep and reciprocal bond with the land, drawing life and wisdom from it while offering care and protection in return. But current environmental realities have affected Indigenous youth and their communities more deeply than others, and they have something to say. Our new report amplifies their urgent call to ground efforts in healing the planet by applying Indigenous ways of knowing and through collective and cooperative action.

To protect and restore the land, we must first mend our relationship with it and each other. The fourth volume in our Voices of Indigenous youth leaders on reconciliation series offers practical recommendations for holistic environmental reconciliation. Its insights can help corporate, government, and environmental decision-makers to integrate Indigenous knowledge and perspectives into boardroom strategies and support Indigenous-led climate action.

It's time to listen, learn, and act together.

Take action. Read the report.

I feel that if we want to save the land and our future, we need to bring back traditional knowledge and help our Elders pass on the teachings and traditions.
- Indigenous youth leader

Defining environmental reconciliation

For a more sustainable existence, we must value Indigenous knowledge and establish respect with both the land and its original caretakers. Indigenous youth are calling for governments and industries to acknowledge the wounds inflicted on the land and heal them with traditional guidance in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples.

  • Understanding fundamental beliefs and values about the environment
    Mother Earth is central to the identity of Indigenous Peoples, but their perspectives in boardrooms and policymaking spaces remain sidelined. This disconnect not only undermines efforts to heal the Earth but deepens the gap between Indigenous traditions and environmental solutions.
  • Cultivating our relationship with the land and each other
    When unsustainable worldviews are applied to the land, environmental harm happens. As climate-related damages continue to escalate globally, Indigenous Peoples are disproportionately harmed. The exclusion of Indigenous perspectives in decision-making misses these inequalities and hinders the chance to nurture a sustainable future.
  • Restoring peace and balance by living sustainably and working together
    Indigenous youth in Canada envision a future where Indigenous values guide land management and communities can reconnect with their land-based culture. Indigenous leadership between governments, businesses, and Indigenous communities is essential for total environmental reconciliation. 


What can private, public, and non-profit sector organizations do?

Improve understanding of and respect for Indigenous traditional knowledge and connections to the land by:

  • Implementing and supporting Indigenous-led language and cultural revitalization efforts
  • Creating cross-cultural learning opportunities to bridge Indigenous perspectives and form a relationship with the land
  • Decolonizing climate research and action by respecting Indigenous traditional knowledge and Indigenous nature-based/culture-based climate solutions
  • Investing in the next generation of Indigenous climate leaders

Facilitate meaningful partnerships between First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities and non-Indigenous partners on environmental decision-making by:

  • Acknowledging past and continuing harms, and giving back to affected communities to repair relations and prevent future harms
  • Creating spaces for Indigenous leaders to meaningfully participate
  • Equitably investing in Indigenous-led land stewardship initiatives
  • Transitioning toward more conscientious, Indigenous-led, and informed land management


What's next on our journey?

Reconciliation isn't a journey we walk alone. It's one we must travel together. With Indigenous voices leading the way, we can establish equitable partnerships and rebuild our relationship with the land.

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