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Monga Bay Environmental Science and Journalism: First Nations have created a robust conservation economy in Great Bear Rainforest

Haida women support their relatives in raising a carved monumental column by master carver Kilthguulans Christian White at Hl’yaalan ‘Lngee. The pole was raised in 2017 at Hiellen Longhouse Village, a promising venture in cultural revitalization and economic development. Photograph by Brodie Guy.

Haida women support their relatives in raising a carved monumental column by master carver Kilthguulans Christian White at Hl’yaalan ‘Lngee. The pole was raised in 2017 at Hiellen Longhouse Village, a promising venture in cultural revitalization and economic development. Photograph by Brodie Guy.


Over the past decade, First Nations have created a robust conservation economy in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest, one of the largest old-growth temperate rainforests left in the world, through investments in sustainable development and environmental stewardship projects that link the health of nature to the wellbeing of indigenous communities, according to a new report.

Monga Bay - Environmental Science and Journalism

The report was issued last week by Coast Funds, an Indigenous-led conservation finance organization created in the wake of historic land-use agreements signed by First Nations and the Canadian province of British Columbia in 2006. The Great Bear Rainforest Agreements, as they are called, were the culmination of a struggle that began in the 1990s, pitting First Nations and their environmentalist allies against the forestry industry and the local government. The future of the Great Bear Rainforest was so fiercely contested the conflict became known as “The War in the Woods.”

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Monga Bay - Environmental Science and Journalism. Haida women support their relatives in raising a carved monumental column by master carver Kilthguulans Christian White at Hl’yaalan ‘Lngee. The pole was raised in 2017 at Hiellen Longhouse Village, a promising venture in cultural revitalization and economic development. Photo: Brodie Guy