Join us in our journey to break down social barriers and get everybody outside and taking environmental action.
Social justice and conservation goals belong side by side.
The world of conservation is shifting. Organizations, academics, and individuals in Alberta are realizing that conservation and social justice goals belong side by side. At CPAWS Southern Alberta, we believe this work is long overdue for us and Alberta’s conservation community as a whole. By working closely alongside partners from Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities and new immigrant groups, we hope to change the reality of colonial environmentalist culture by promoting diverse voices, framing nature as a positive space for all, and removing barriers against taking eco-action. CPAWS Southern Alberta recognizes that decolonization and social justice are the future of conservation and commits to a healthy, resilient, wild Alberta for all. We look forward to working with all Albertans to spark even more BIPOC smiles and faces in nature and conservation.
Read through our commitments through the bioDIVERSITY project to learn more about what’s coming for CPAWS Southern Alberta in the next year.
Head over to our resources section below for more educational information and links to some great organizations promoting diversity in the outdoors.
Working on social justice and conservation goals together leads to stronger, more effective conservation outcomes.1
If we do not approach sustainable land use through a lens of decolonization and social justice, we do so at both human and ecological costs.2
BIPOC communities may face numerous barriers in accessing nature, including physical distance to green spaces, expensive activities, unsafe or inappropriate gear, lack of resources on recreating safely, and social barriers such as lack of representation. These barriers make it difficult to connect with nature, which is essential for driving environmental action.3,4
Indigenous peoples have been denied access to their lands through colonization, which has impacted their ability to carry out their ancestral responsibilities as land stewards, creating yet another barrier for taking eco-action.5
IF WE WANT TO PROTECT ALBERTA'S LANDSCAPE, WE NEED TO SEE INCLUSIVE CONSERVATION EFFORTS.
Our commitments through the bioDIVERSITY project
Reduce barriers for individuals and communities that feel unwelcome or excluded from the outdoors
Photo Credit: Erika Jensen-Mann
Amplify diverse voices and stories in conservation
Photo Credit: Christopher Landry
Amplify Indigenous-led conservation efforts to protect Treaty lands for future generations
Acknowledge and educate on the history of Indigenous erasure in conservation and the outdoors
Support the great work being done in conservation by BIPOC led community organizations
Work towards an inclusive, welcoming, and safe CPAWS Southern Alberta
Photo Credit: Erika Jensen-Mann
Support these great BIPOC-led organizations!
We hope to continuously update this list! Continue to check back for more resources.
Indigenous-led conservation groups and organizations to support:
Further reading on why and how we can be more inclusive in the world of conservation:
- Recommended reading list on intersectional environmentalism by Sarah Coquillat
- Books, podcasts, and videos on diversifying and decolonizing environmentalism by Leah Thomas
- Leading Voices in Engaging Racialized Communities in Nature Webinar by Sustainability Network
- Reconciling Ways of Knowing dialogue series