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    Eco-Cultural Restoration
    Eco-cultural restoration is the practice of restoring indigenous ways of relating to the land and its resources, and in so doing, restoring healthy ecosystems and communities.

    Eco-Cultural Restoration in Katzie Traditional Territory

    For thousands of years, Katzie and many other indigenous peoples have related to the land, water and resources in ways that supported healthy ecosystems. Katzie people managed a wide variety of plant and animal resources in ways that ensured these were available over the long-term. Oral histories tell us that ‘sustainable management’ was embedded for thousands of years in Katzie spiritual beliefs and cultural practices that reflected respect for all life. Katzie believe good stewardship is based upon a deep and holistic approach to nature that acknowledges that human and ecosystem health are intertwined and inseparable, and that the relationship between humans and the earth is sacred.

    Eco-cultural restoration is the practice of restoring indigenous ways of relating to the land and its resources, and in so doing, restoring healthy ecosystems and communities. 

    It is our view that a holistic practice of ecological restoration includes revitalization of the cultural practices of indigenous communities that sustained healthy ecosystems for millennia.

    We have created an Eco-Cultural Restoration Plan for Katzie traditional territory, which is based on three core values:

    • Cultural and spiritual revitalization
    • Food sovereignty and security
    • Human and ecosystem health

    Arising from our three core values, our Plan is based on the following four goals:

    1. Create opportunities for people to reconnect physically and spiritually with the land and its resources;
    2. Revitalize sustainable management and harvest practices that honour cultural traditions;
    3. Rehabilitate degraded wetlands;
    4. Restore and enhance habitat to support healthy populations of priority species.

    In these early stages of implementing our Plan, we are focused on wetland enhancement and the restoration of wapato as a sacred traditional food.

    As well as being a vessel to hold a wide range of community values for eco-cultural restoration, our Plan is also a science-based, practical guide for wetland enhancement practitioners. We intend for our Plan to serve as an accessible resource for people interested or engaged in restoration efforts within Katzie territory or our bioregion. Our Plan includes a framework for prioritizing among places and species on which to focus restoration actions, and among actions to take. It also includes an effectiveness monitoring framework, based on the principles of adaptive management. As we implement wetland enhancement throughout Katzie territory, and learn from our actions, we will update our Plan with site-specific guidelines for wetland enhancement that will provide solutions to key issues, such as the control of invasive species.

    Our plan is intended to remain a living, breathing document in perpetuity. We believe that community-based ecological restoration requires a long-term commitment to collaboration, caring, learning, and action. There is no final word on how best to do restoration, and we hope that what we start today future generations will carry forward with even greater success. This plan is a collaborative effort because we believe that working together is the best way to support the long-term health of communities and the ecosystems upon which communities depend.