Island Tour: ICCA Tribal Parks & UNESCO Biosphere Reserves

May 6-7, 2017 

Note: This tour is designed as an optional activity for participants in the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation-supported symposium Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights and the Roles of Ethnoecology and Ethnobotany: Strategies for Canada’s Future, taking place at the University of Victoria from May 2-5, 2017. 

Tour Description

 Little Qualicum Falls, Mount Arrowsmith UNESCO Biosphere Region

Little Qualicum Falls, Mount Arrowsmith UNESCO Biosphere Region

In the work we do on Vancouver Island and beyond, we strive to forward a philosophy of Reconciliation—reconciliation both among diverse peoples within Canadian society and between society and the environment. The Island Tour is an opportunity to see this philosophy in action within two internationally recognized regions on Vancouver Island: The Mount Arrowsmith UNESCO Biosphere Region (, and Tla-o-qui-aht ICCA Tribal Parks within the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve (

In the Mount Arrowsmith UNESCO Biosphere Region (MABR), participants will receive a traditional welcome by Snaw-Naw-As First Nation. MABR Coordinator Monica Shore will speak of Reconciliation in the region through the lens of a community garden project led by Snaw-Naw-As Elders and designed through a collaborative process with MABR staff and graduate students from Vancouver Island University. In May 2017 the ‘Garden of Spiritual Healing’ will be in its first season of planting. Tour participants will hear the story and vision of the garden and learn how plans for its future meet four key needs of the Snaw-Naw-As Peoples.

Following a brief pause in one of the MABR’s Amazing Places, participants will enter Clayoquot Sound, participants will receive a traditional welcome by Tla-o-qui-aht and learn about the ICCA Tribal Parks model that saved this area from clear-cut logging in the 1980s, a time of coming together between Indigenous and local communities around shared values. The ‘War in the Woods’ may ring a bell for many.

 Ha'uukmin Tribal Park, Tla-o-qui-aht

Ha'uukmin Tribal Park, Tla-o-qui-aht

Eli Enns will lead the Tribal Parks tour and subsequent activities in Clayoquot Sound where participants are invited join a parallel event called Tribal Parks 2017 Gathering: Exploring the Intersections of Social and Ecological Reconciliation. This gathering will involve participation from Vancouver Island Indigenous Peoples and local communities to explore the possible collaboration between ICCA Tribal Parks and UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in forwarding Social and Ecological Reconciliation. At this event, participants from Victoria will be invited to sit on a panel facilitated by Eli Enns to discuss some of the takeaways from the previous week’s symposium.

Cost: $490 CAD

Contact Eli Enns with questions or to reserve. Registration closes on April 15 2017.

Monica Shore

Eli Enns

Regional Coordinator North America, ICCA Consortium

Eli is a Tla-o-qui-aht/Canadian political scientist focused in constitutional law, international dispute resolution and ecological governance. He is the Regional Coordinator North America for the Indigenous Peoples and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCA) Consortium and co-founder of the Ha'uukmin Tribal Park in Tla-o-qui-aht.


Coordinator, Mt. Arrowsmith UNESCO Biosphere Region

As part of her role with the MABR, Monica facilitates a regional roundtable involving First Nations, government, private forestry companies, conservation organizations, community members and VIU that works together to collectively envision and implement positive change and long-term health for people, culture, and the environment.


Videos from our Tribal Parks 2016 Gathering.