CPAWS Manitoba works on the ancestral lands and water of Indigenous peoples.
Indigenous peoples have stewarded their territories for thousands of generations, and continue to today.
However, colonization, genocide and oppression intentionally severed Indigenous peoples’ relationships with the land and ocean.
CPAWS Manitoba recognizes the connection between colonization and the continued oppression and repression of Indigenous, black and racialized people, and other marginalized groups.
All people have the right to a healthy environment.
Human health, culture, safety and well-being is intertwined with the natural world from the forest-cleaned air we breathe, nutrient-rich soil and ocean to for food, and fresh water we use to drink, clean and practice ceremony.
However, oppressed and racialized communities are disproportionately affected by changes to the environment, and they have been systematically and intentionally excluded from, or faced significant barriers to, resources and decision-making processes.
Conservation efforts in some cases have perpetuated systemic oppression and erasure by forcibly removing people from their land.
As a conservation organization, we have a responsibility to decolonize our work and to ensure that we are supporting Indigenous leadership to identify, create, and manage protected areas and ecosystems.
We, the staff and Board at CPAWS Manitoba, recognize that upholding the values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion of oppressed and repressed voices and perspectives is an ongoing process that requires us all to be actively involved and responsible.