A Grassroots, Responsive, and Non-government Organization
Honoring the Original Treaties
The Land Between organization recognizes the Land that we live on and the inherent rites of the First Nations. We understand the value of Ecological Traditional Knowledge and First Nations Worldviews. Too we recognize the generosity and wisdom of First Nations in developing the original treaties. Here it was agreed to share the Land, for First Nations to lead the way in understanding the Land, and for each Nation (First Nations and the Crown) to retain their rights and freedoms in the partnership- self governance. These agreements are recorded in, (having informed) the British North America Act, and therefore and still in the Constitution of Canada. Therefore The Land Between organization strives to honor these agreements and this heritage: We operate with at least half First Nation peoples on our Council and with a delegate to represent this Territory’s First Nations on our Council (Board of Directors).
Representative, accountable, good governance using Original models of democracy, consensus, and representation
The Land Between bylaws are the first bylaws in Canada to embody the Traditional Talking Circle as a model of governance, and using consensus for our decision making model. The Land Between Bylaws_Feb_2011
Our principles are also based on the Seven Grandfather Teachings of First Nations and therefore on equal voice, and respect. The Land Between Council_Principles and Policies
A. The Chief operates in response to the Council, and is responsible for all strategic operations.
B. The Council advises the Chief, and without hierarchy reaches decisions through consensus. The Council represents the grassroots perspective and is made up of landowners and “non-experts”: the common person. In this way the Council represents the community, understanding through felt experience, the needs and impacts at the most basic level.
C. The Circle is an advisory group of experts, which the Chief and Council use in assisting with guidance and feeback, including peer reviews, for research and projects. The Circle includes partner agencies and experts from educational institutions, non-government agencies, and local and provincial governments. The Circle, while providing advise, has no decision-making powers within the organization. In this way, The Land Between has adopted an Original democratic governance model, that removes self-interest and bias and represents the concerns of the community. To understand more about the values, principles and governance model of The Land Between, read: Around the Circle in 365 days
Responsiveness and Capacity: Partnerships and Collaboration
The Land Between always works in partnership with existing groups and agencies, municipalities, and large NGOs. In this way we efficiently and effectively reach goals, without duplication of effort and with complementary benefits. Partnerships build capacity across the sector and ensure that actions are reflective of needs in communities. View the list of TLB partners
Cross-Sectors and multi-level jurisdictions
To ensure that meaningful impacts are achieved TLB works across sectors, relating elements, mandates and focuses. Change must be felt across levels in order to be sustainable, and in this way, TLB works proactively to engage stakeholders and authorities at all levels, from the landowner to the government- providing input, information, and tools as well as benefits to each.
The Land Between uses two-eyed seeing to inform it’s priorities and decisions. First Nations worldviews, teachings, knowledge and traditions stem from the land and are passed on in an oral tradition through generations. First Nations Elders and even colonial Elders note changes in the environment and world at large. “Two-eyed seeing” is an exercise that marries First Nation’s traditional ecological knowledge with western science to extract and result in the best understanding and solution. First Nations scholar and teacher Elder Albert Marshall (Mik’maw) coined the phrase “two eyed seeing” meaning that we “learn(ing) to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of Western knowledge and ways of knowing … and learning to use both these eyes together, for the benefit of all.”
Responsive Operations and Business Model
The Land Between also respects the economy of the region and honors its capacity and entrepreneurial spirit through its daily operations; TLB is staffed by retaining contractors and experts under Memorandums of Understanding, HR contracts, and fees for service. In this way TLB ensures that it is supportive of the local economy, reduces infrastructural administration overhead and bureaucracy, and is also agile, accountable, efficient, and aligned with the current markets and trends.
The Spirit of Generosity; of Hope and Giving
Since its inception in 2006, Leora Berman, our COO has never drawn a regular salary! She, instead, does what is required to build and run the organization by donating her time and skills. She is only compensated for active roles as identified in successful grants. Leora is a rare person, who has taken personal risks to move the charity forward. While the charity has a set goal and remuneration wage for the COO position, that is comparable to other charities of this scale, the organization is working towards core unrestricted funding to support its Leadership and staff.