We Adapt, We Restore, We Survive: Reviving Tahltan knowledge, governance and territory

Originally published by Gaia’s Finnish partners The Snowchange Cooperative, this article announces the launch of a new multimedia exploration of the Tahltan First Nation’s efforts to revive culture and nature in Canada’s Pacific north-west.

Gaia has been working with the Tahltan and Snowchange since 2018 to support this revival work using our experience accompanying similar processes in the Amazon and sub-Saharan Africa.


In June 2019 Snowchange, Christensen Fund, Tahltan TWild, Land Is Life and IUCN co-organised the We Adapt, We Restore, We Survive Summit on the Stikine river in northern British Columbia, Canada. This event has now been captured in a high-end multimedia presentation to allow the voices and knowledge from the event to be shared more widely.

We Adapt. We Restore. We Survive

In June 2019, Tahltan elders and leaders, members of Snowchange’s Finnish and Alaskan teams and representatives from The Gaia Foundation, Land is Life, ICCA Consortium and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature came together in the heart of Tahltan Territory. Main coordinator for the event was the co-founder of Snowchange, Tahltan leader and educator Curtis Rattray.

At the confluence of the Tahltan and Stikine Rivers, delegates spent 5-days learning about Tahltan fishing traditions, hiking the territory and meeting elders to discuss the challenges the Tahltan face and how they are responding. This event followed a year-long process of documenting and implementing Snowchange – Tahltan community-based monitoring and reflections of Indigenous knowledge under the context of rapidly proceeding climate change.

The event was the first of the off-shoots of the Festivals of Northern Fishing Traditions, held before in Russia and Finland. The event also included a week-long review and critical reflection on the possibility of establishing ICCA territories (of life) in North American North. Indigenous leader from Taiwan, Sutej Hugu, presented the key concepts and ideas associated with the ICCA development for the region.

 

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