North America Programme

Indigenous resistance in North America has existed for over 500 years and is going strong. Indigenous nations and communities are actively opposing corporate, settler- and state-driven forces of extraction and destruction through creative forms of resistance, resurgence, and life-affirming action. These include the revitalisation of traditional management practices, holistic strategies to foster wellbeing, the restoration of traditional foodways, and intergenerational learning and action. Between 2013 and 2017, GDF focused its activities in the region on supporting indigenous-led networking, by convening those engaged in resistance and resurgence projects throughout North America and nurturing their projects and collaborations.



NACELE project

Since 2013, we have worked with Indigenous collaborators in North America to foster networking, mutual learning and exchange between emerging community leaders through North American Community Environmental Leadership Exchanges (NACELE). These peer-to-peer learning opportunities convened dynamic Indigenous leaders from all over North America to share strategies to protect and restore lands, waters and traditional foodways – and through these, culture and sovereignty. We held three events – in Capay Valley, California in 2013, Montréal Botanical Garden in 2015 and Sonora, Mexico in 2017 – to enhance wellbeing at community and landscape scales, seeding durable networks for mutual support.

Okanagan project

Held in June 2017, the Okanagan Land-based Environmental Leadership Camp gathered Indigenous youth interested in building their capacity to advocate for and protect the lands and waters of their territories. In collaboration with IndigenEYEZ, the camp explored the meaning and importance of environmental leadership through the arts, cultural teachings, activities on the land, group discussions, and mentorship from key resource people. It also created a space for young emerging artists and environmental leaders in Okanagan to connect, deepen relationships, form networks of support, and plan future collaborative activities. It took place at Glimpse Lake, on Syilx territory (Upper Nicola Band) in British Columbia, Canada.

Photo credit: Dana Wilson / IndigenEYEZ