MISSISSAUGA – Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) is committed to learning, growing and taking steps on the path toward reconciliation together with Indigenous nations, communities and peoples connected to the Credit River and surrounding watershed. In that spirit, the CVC Board of Directors, on Friday March 12, approved new engagement guidelines to support continued and meaningful engagement with Indigenous nations, communities and peoples across a variety of CVC projects and programs.
The guidelines were crafted in partnership with members of the Credit valley Trail Indigenous Roundtable and the Department of Accommodation and Consultation of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, whose treaty lands and territory includes the Credit River Watershed. The guidelines are a living document that will be periodically updated to reflect current and future input from Indigenous nations, communities and peoples connected to the Credit River and surrounding watershed.
“We’re guided by our shared responsibility for the stewardship of the lands, waters and resources of the Credit River Watershed,” said Deborah Martin-Downs, Chief Administrative Officer for CVC. “We’re committed to ensuring that CVC activities and programs related to Indigenous Knowledge and communities, past and present, are done respectfully and in collaboration.”
The new guidelines reflect the various opportunities for Indigenous engagement, including:
- Planning for conservation areas, including programming and placemaking at Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area
- Planning for the Credit Valley Trail project, including programming and placemaking along the trail
- Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and perspectives into CVC education programming
- Attending Indigenous events and other Indigenous-led activities
- Integrating Indigenous Knowledge into CVC’s monitoring, restoration and management studies and plans
- Attending or integrating Indigenous ceremony into CVC activities when appropriate
- Supporting CVC staff education, training, and internal communications on Indigenous topics
- Identifying opportunities where CVC may choose to voluntarily go above and beyond the basic duty to consult under various acts of legislation, such as the Environmental Assessment Act
The new guidelines set the stage to develop an Indigenous Partnership Plan as part of CVC’s Conservation Areas Master Strategy that will contain a set of recommendations intended to strengthen existing partnerships and encourage more Indigenous presence on CVC lands. The goals of the plan will align with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the calls to action of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
CVC’s Indigenous Engagement Guidelines and further information on CVC’s commitment to partnering with Indigenous nations, communities and peoples are available at https://cvc.ca/about-cvc/engagement-with-indigenous-nations-communities-peoples/.
About Credit Valley Conservation (CVC)
Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) is a local conservation authority established by the Ontario government in 1954 to protect, restore and enhance the natural environment of the Credit River watershed. That watershed is the area of land where all rainfall, snowmelt and runoff drains into lands and waters flowing into the Credit River. CVC creates connections between people and nature, knowledge and action. It inspires a deep appreciation for the role of nature in keeping people connected, healthy and happy. CVC is a member of Conservation Ontario.
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