Pacific IPCA Innovation Centre

August 30, 2021

Anchoring a New Movement of Indigenous-led Conservation

By Monica Shore, Executive Director & Co-Founder, IISAAK OLAM Foundation & Eli Enns, Co-Founder & President, IISAAK OLAM Foundation – Published August 30, 2021


What are IPCA Innovation Centres?

As the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership (CRP) was being formed, three legacy initiatives were identified to support Indigenous-led conservation beyond the partnership’s seven-year journey: The Solutions Bundle, an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) Alliance (or Network) and IPCA Innovation Centres.

While the IPCA Alliance and the Solutions Bundle focus on relationships, organizational capacity, ideas and learning resources, IPCA Innovation Centres are the physical places and spaces that host these relationships. The vision of IPCA Innovation Centres is to develop a world-class model for innovation and learning that is specifically designed for IPCAs.

IPCA Innovation Centres will be established regionally by Indigenous Peoples, organizations, Nations and partners. They are the on-the-land hubs where educational programming is delivered to support and strengthen IPCA establishment, governance and management within the region.

Examples of programming include language and cultural revitalization, Indigenous economics and stewardship in action, eco-cultural tourism, Indigenous technologies and craftsmanship, the art of Indigenous laws, and guardianship training. 

IPCA Innovation Centres will depend on the collaboration of a diverse range of partners, including Indigenous governments and organizations, civil society organizations, Crown governments and agencies, private industry, academic institutions and philanthropy.

We envision that these centres will braid together the best of modern and traditional technology, western and Indigenous science and diverse knowledge systems within Ethical Space to conserve and protect ecological, environmental and community health and well-being.

Photo: An aerial image of Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia. Photo Credit: Jeremy Williams

What is the Pacific IPCA Innovation Centre?

The first IPCA Innovation Centre is taking shape in Nuu-chah-nulth and Coast Salish territories on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. It has been named the Pacific IPCA Innovation Centre and will, over time, aim to include a network of satellite campuses along the Pacific coast from North to South America.

The IISAAK OLAM Foundation, a host partner of the CRP, is advancing the establishment of the Pacific IPCA Innovation Centre through the leadership of Eli Enns, its President and CEO, citizen of Tla-o-qui-aht Nation, and member of the CRP’s Leadership Circle.

While the Centre will be anchored academically by a network of universities in western Canada, its inaugural satellite campus will be in Clayoquot Sound. Happening this week thanks to a generous donation by an anonymous Canadian philanthropist, what’s currently known as the Tofino Botanical Gardens will become the Clayoquot Campus for the Centre.

The West Coast location of Canada’s first IPCA Innovation Centre is appropriate considering the many decades of trailblazing undertaken by First Nations in British Columbia, starting with the Haida and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks in the early 1980s.

Development of the Clayoquot Campus and its activities will be developed over the fall and winter. The official public launch will take place in the spring of 2022…

Read the rest of the article here…

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