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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Increasing global rates of wildlife species extinctions, extirpations, and declines warrant improvements to population monitoring and management approaches. To address regional environmental and wildlife issues, Indigenous communities globally are re-establishing traditional roles as stewards of the land through emerging Indigenous Guardianship Programs (IGPs). By providing the opportunity for community-level participation in monitoring and management, IGPs help foster cohesive solutions for long-term conservation of species while promoting environmental stewardship at the community level. Addressing challenges in monitoring and management of wildlife is especially critical for species that are of cultural and ecological importance at both community and distribution-wide scales. Herein, we describe IGPs in Canada with a focus on moose (Alces alces), an important species to many Indigenous Peoples across the species’ distribution. We outline common Western approaches to moose monitoring applied across Canadian jurisdictions and discuss ways in which weaving Indigenous knowledge systems and information gathered through local participation from Indigenous communities enhances monitoring initiatives at regional levels. We elaborate on a case study on moose monitoring and co-management in the community of Gitanyow in British Columbia, Canada to highlight the value of Guardianship to communities and species conservation in relation to moose. Our study reveals how IGPs and the weaving of Indigenous and Western knowledge systems can contribute to the maintenance of both ecological and cultural integrity to strengthen wildlife monitoring and management under changing global environments.