The David Suzuki Foundation has a long history of working alongside First Nations and indigenous communities, from our early collaborations with the Ainu of Japan, indigenous peoples of Colombia, Kayapo of Brazil, and the Hesquiat of Vancouver Island to our present working relationships with Treaty 8 First Nations in Northern B.C. and Alberta, and other work. First Nations are crucial leaders and partners in the important movement to create a just and sustainable Canada.
Sign up for our newsletter
In early June, to address areas of mutual interest and concern about the environment, the David Suzuki Foundation and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) — which represents 74 First Nations in that province — signed a Memorandum of Understanding during the FSIN Spring Legislative Assembly. Foundation CEO Peter Robinson said it is an honour "to be part of an agreement...that creates a foundation of trust and respect."
Foundation board member Miles Richardson highlighted the importance of the agreement: "First Nations are the best hope for Canada to achieve true sustainability. The David Suzuki Foundation recognizes this through our Aboriginal People's Policy, and today through the signing of this agreement with the FSIN."
FSIN Vice-Chief Kimberly Jonathan said it took hard work and commitment to reach this stage. "As original stewards of this land, First Nations must assert their rights and responsibilities in protecting the environment for future generations, as we were taught by our ancestors," she said. Jonathan believes the relationship between the Foundation and First Nations is important because both share principles around respect for the environment and living in harmony with the natural world: "We look forward to working together to address our common interests."
According to the FSIN, First Nations will continue to assert their inherent rights and laws. As for economic development in Saskatchewan, the Federation's members believe everybody should be aware of the potential impacts it has on the environment.