December 19, 2022

(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and
səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.) As the fifteenth
Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological
Diversity begins wrapping up on Kanien’kehá:ka territory in Montreal, the First Nations Leadership Council recognizes the significant and outsized contributions of Indigenous peoples across the globe in protecting the biodiversity within their territories and assert that Indigenous peoples must be equal partners at any table discussing and  making decisions about management of their territories.

Over 80% of the earth’s remaining biodiversity is stewarded by Indigenous peoples, a stunning achievement in the face of the rampant exploitation of natural resources and habitat destruction that characterizes the ongoing colonization of our lands. There is an inescapable economic component to First Nations’ inherent title to our territories, and we have proprietary interests to all the lands and resources within our respective territories.