The Land Between organization recognizes that we are privileged to live on this Land because of the generosity of First Nations and we also recognize the enduring and inherent rites of the First Nations. We understand the value of Ecological Traditional Knowledge and Indigenous Worldviews. Too, we recognize the generosity and wisdom of Indigenous Nations in developing the original treaties. Here it was agreed to share the Land, for Indigenous Peoples to lead the way in understanding the Land, and for each Nation (Indigenous and the Crown) to retain their rights and freedoms in the partnership through self-governance. These agreements are recorded in (having informed) the British North America Act and are in the Constitution of Canada.
The Land Between organization strives to honour these agreements and this heritage by operating with at least half Indigenous peoples on our Council along with a delegate on our Council that is appointed to represent the major Territory's First Nation where our work takes place, which at this time is with the Williams Treaty Nations, and more specifically for central TLB, the Curve Lake First Nation.
Despite these facts, The Land Between is first a landscape and a place. The charity is an organization whose goals are to engage the public in connecting, caring for and conserving nature. We do not represent any First Nations or their territories, nor do we speak for any First Nation. Instead, we hope to continue and expand our partnerships with First Nations, and our engagement and honouring of Indigenous Nations across this region, as we build capacity.
More on how we operate
Our Philosophy and Path
The Land Between strives for bioregionalism: community in action
Bioregionalism is a holistic and animate approach to conservation. It encompasses and honours all the relationships that exist between and across features, but also sectors. It understands that a region, from the land to the people, is interdependent and interrelated, and that each is unique in its patterns and character. Bioregionalism is based on the knowledge that Nature informs Culture.
The Land Between's vision is for animated and active bioregionalism, where a sense of place is instilled in the residents of the region resulting in identity and behaviours of celebration and conservation for the unique features of the region and the relationships that exist between them.
The Land Between charity's ultimate goal is to become redundant! When people celebrate and behave in a way that is congruent to the land and its features and fellows, an organization will not be needed.
Walking Hand in Hand
The Land Between was developed in partnership with the Indigenous Nations of the Mitchii Saagiig Territory- having worked together to build the charity's capacity and programming since 2006.
The charity believes that reconciliation is not possible without equality between all parties involved, and therefore we feel that reconciliation is only made possible and meaningful when there is a restoration of the culture and capacity of the Indigenous Nations whose traditional territories we are so privileged to share. Furthermore, we firmly believe, that First Nations are inherent leaders in caring for Turtle Island (North America), and that their connections to Creation and their related knowledge and practices are essential guideposts for Canadians, to navigate our future collective wellbeing. Also, our health and welfare is inextricably tied to the health and welfare of Nature. Therefore, the charity works to support the reinvigoration, reignition and restoration Indigenous cultural traditions, practices, and systems. The charity also understands that reconciliation relates to the original Treaties, and therefore means equal authority and at the same time autonomy (self-governance), which means that reconciliation is walking together in our efforts- sharing the journey. Rather than simply "consulting" or engaging Indigenous peoples and communities, we seek to provide the means for equal authority and governance in our work and efforts.
In this vein, the charity operates using a hybrid style of Indigenous Traditional Governance, without appropriating a Clan system, but where the Talking Circle is used for meetings, and where consensus is the mode of decision making. The Council of the charity has equal representation and equal voice at the table, and with a constitution that is evenly represented by Indigenous voices, and western mainstream individuals. Furthermore, the charity strives to honour original agreements by a delegate seat on the Council that is appointed by Curve Lake First Nation, where our majority work takes place, to represent the Nation at the table.
The deep democracy that is employed in the charity's governance structure also inspires the projects we undertake: Here we strive to facilitate open democratic forums that support deliberative dialogue and plurality. These ways result in robust and solutions that are appropriate and innovative. The multiple perspectives within "talking circles" are necessary to achieve meaningful outcomes - also they achieve other benefits of cultivating relationships, building bridges across divides, and honouring individuals stories, experiences and insights.
The Land & the Capacity For Renewal
We understand that everything comes from the Land; our resources, our patterns of movement, consumption, and creativity, our economies, and therefore our culture and identity. We strive to maintain and communicate this intimate relationship with the natural land around us.
Nature is animate and dynamic, with systems and processes that are integral and illusive. If the natural capital is in tact much like a capital investment, nature will renew itself and provide valuable ecosystem services for our lives. Therefore our goal is to preserve Nature's capacity for renewal through facilitating land stewardship and securement, especially within connected priority areas.
Diversity, Equality, & Relationships
We learn from difference. Difference makes us stronger and smarter. Diversity in the form of genes, species, peoples and perspectives serves to enrich our lives making our efforts more meaningful and our actions more responsive and resilient. Honouring the diversity of knowledge and perspectives provides new insights and opportunities for new solutions. Diversity depends on equality; an equal voice in decisions across the spectrum of stakeholders and those without a voice (future generations and wildlife).
Our goals for conservation and renewal are based on a healthy natural foundation and are only possible through our relationships with one another and our connections to nature as well. Therefore, the cultivation of relationships and open dialogue are pivotal to our organizational culture and our operations. Collaboration is essential for success. In this way too, we ensure that we support the capacity of all of our partners, and we engage with our communities and First Nations as we grow, understand needs, and find solutions. We understand community as a verb, it needs to be practiced. Finally, we understand the interconnected fabric of the earth and humanity and honour these relationships, doing our best to give back to both as we move through the world.
Relevance & Responsibility
Because of our relationships including having and grassroots and representational Council and our many community partners, we continually investigate needs across the region to identify gaps. We choose relevant projects that provide multiple benefits across sectors and levels and which are always conducted in collaboration with multiple partners including community groups. We put our communities and therefore our goals before self-interests. Therefore our budget and operations are reflective of the needs as identified within our strategy and as expressed through partners and communities. The majority of our funds at over 85% are directed to projects over administration.
The Land Between was developed through grassroots efforts by community leaders. The organization operates efficiently and transparently by hosting open meetings and posting meeting minutes and annual reports. We are beginning to assign specific metrics for measuring achievements so we can estimate costs against these outcomes. In this way, we can more accurately report our impact to our communities.
The Land Between puts Spirit, Nature and People before itself.
People are surprised that the Land Between is not government funded, but rather the result of individual efforts: of two people devoting time and effort and with a group of wonderfully supportive folks around the table. The organization was founded on volunteerism, grants, donations, partnerships, and sales....and on love, sweat and tears! This should be celebrated in today's day and age; it is about traditional values, community, and inclusive leadership. This is a unique region with a creative economy and great Spirit. Therefore, the organization's constitution is a true reflection of the communities within this region. Learn more through the videos below!