This February 2023 One Tribe met with our team members from the Wahpeton Dakota Nation to discuss the development of ‘One Tribe Indigenous Carbon’ – a carbon platform consisting of Indigenous-owned carbon projects. The meeting focused on the importance of Indigenous Peoples’ involvement in carbon offsetting programs and the role that these projects will play in the future for mitigating climate change.
One Tribe has raised the importance of working with Indigenous communities to establish carbon projects that promote both sustainable and cultural values, while supporting businesses to offset their carbon output. The development of ‘One Tribe Indigenous Carbon’ aims to provide Indigenous communities with the tools and resources needed to create their own carbon offset projects within the forestry sector.
By supporting the development of Indigenous-owned carbon projects, One Tribe seeks to empower Indigenous communities to participate in the fight against climate change while preserving their cultural heritage. As a business we recognise that Indigenous knowledge and practices play a vital role in protecting the environment and addressing climate change.
During the meeting, Wahpeton Dakota Nation Chief Cy Standing and fellow community members shared their perspectives on carbon offset projects and the challenges faced by Indigenous communities in participating in these programs. Particularly that Indigenous communities are being taken advantage of in the unregulated sector, with complex deals for carbon rights that can last up to a century, and communities being pushed out of their lands for project space and ownership.
“The land has always been important because of our spirituality. Our parents taught us that we are connected to the earth, and that it’s our responsibility to take care of the earth. Our ceremonies and prayers are dedicated to the land and every living creature. That’s instilled in us as Dakota people.”
Wakanya Najin (Cy Standing) – Elder Chief, Wahpeton Dakota Nation
The exchange of ideas and knowledge was a crucial step towards recognising the developments needed to improve the current state of carbon offsets and nature-based offset solutions in existing development.
During the meeting, both parties discussed the potential for Improved Forest Management (IFM) offsets as a means of protecting and conserving forests more effectively, especially in regions across Canada. IFM offsets involve the implementation of sustainable forestry practices such as reducing deforestation and degradation, increasing carbon storage, and improving the overall health of forests. The development of IFM offsets creates a financial incentive for forest conservation and management that could provide Indigenous communities with the opportunity to generate their own revenue while respecting Indigenous Peoples ancestry and promoting sustainable land use practices.
Being based in Canada, the Wahpeton Dakota Nation has access to some of the world’s largest forests, covering almost half of Canada’s land area. These forests play a crucial role in mitigating climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.
During the meeting, One Tribe discussed alongside their Indigenous board members the importance of protecting and conserving Canada’s forests as a means to improve the current state of nature-based climate solutions. Wahpeton Dakota Nation members discussed the current state of IFM opportunities currently available to develop across Canada that would be governed by First Nation leaders and local forestry experts. The meeting also focused on the progress of carbon offset projects across Canada lead by One Tribe and their Indigenous team members. These projects will be unique in that they will be owned and governed by Indigenous peoples, with the aim of promoting Indigenous sovereignty and providing economic opportunities for First Nation communities.
The meeting was an opportunity for the team to share their insights and collaborate on the development of these initiatives, which will support both environmental conservation and community development. One Tribe is committed to working with Indigenous peoples to empower them to play a leading role in environmental initiatives and support their efforts to build sustainable, equitable futures.
The Wahpeton Dakota Nation shared their traditional knowledge and practices of forest management, highlighting the importance of preserving the forests’ ecological and cultural significance. The exchange of ideas and knowledge between One Tribe and the Wahpeton Dakota Nation provides a foundation for the development of sustainable forest management practices that recognise and respect Indigenous rights and values from the beginning of a project to the end. Together, we aim to create a pathway towards a sustainable and equitable future that balances economic development with environmental and cultural preservation.
One Tribe is grateful to be working with the Wahpeton Dakota Nation to develop One Tribe’s Indigenous Carbon Platform. Our meeting demonstrated the importance of enhancing the quality of existing nature-based offsets, while supporting Indigenous communities in taking ownership of their own carbon projects.
Both parties discussed opportunities for the development of Improved Forest Management offsets as a means of protecting and conserving Canada’s extensive forest cover. The exchange of ideas and knowledge between One Tribe and the Wahpeton Dakota Nation sets the foundation for better socio-economic opportunities within Indigenous communities. Working alongside the Wahpeton Dakota Nation One Tribe aims to create a more equitable and sustainable future that helps businesses to offset their carbon emissions and support Indigenous communities.
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