Today is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day to celebrate and honour the achievements, stories, history and resilience of Indigenous communities who have lived on and stewarded these lands and waters for time immemorial. We’d like to take a moment to spotlight some of the incredible work and accomplishments of First Nations partners on the collaborative Estuary Resilience project:

The Estuary Resilience project was recently endorsed by the UN Ocean Decade as an action that will help unlock ocean-based climate solutions and support coastal communities. This project is built on strong partnerships between Coastal First Nations, eNGOs, academic groups, and provincial and federal governments.

Estuary Resilience project partners

Quw’utsun Mustimuhw (Cowichan Tribes), The Nature Trust of BC, and Estuary Resilience partners are restoring 70 hectares of estuarine ecosystems at Cowichan River estuary – the largest project of its kind to ever occur on Vancouver Island.

The Cowichan Estuary Restoration Project will revitalize Indigenous food systems so that these lands can continue to be farmed, providing culturally significant foods and medicine plants to Cowichan Tribes while contributing to the overall food security of the region.

Collaborative monitoring and studies have informed further restoration activities at the Snuneymuxw (Nanaimo), Xwésam (Salmon), Gwa’dzi (Quatse), and Kw’a’luxw (Englishman) River estuaries. These projects enhance salmon and wildlife habitat, restoring estuarine communities and ecological processes.

We humbly recognize the profound connection First Nations have with the lands and waters of British Columbia. We thank and celebrate our First Nations partners, and Indigenous communities across B.C. and Canada for their stewardship and knowledge-sharing to protect lands and waters today, and for future generations. Learn more about Estuary Resilience here.

Header photo:  Kaouk River estuary, Estuary Resilience project site, traditional territory of the Ka’:yu:’k’t’h’/Che:ktles7et’h’ First Nations.