As part of the 2020-21 UBC Sustainability Scholars cohort, PhD student Elizabeth Jackson engaged with kQwa’ste’not (Charlene George), the cultural voice of Sierra Club BC (SCBC) and a member of the t’Souk Nation, to create A Pathway Together, a toolkit consisting of an electronic guide and print resources that illustrate innovative approaches to intercultural climate engagement for environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs).

The project expands on Seeing Through Watcher’s Eyes—Between the Worlds, an interactive Indigenous learning guide developed by kQwa’st’not and community partners (including SCBC), which is based on a 32-foot mural called Through Watcher’s Eyes designed by kQwa’st’not and painted on Spencer Middle School located on the territory of the Lekwungen speaking peoples (Songhees and Esquimalt Nations). The guide invites viewers to explore the territory depicted on the mural through visual, audio, and video content; with a text purposefully written in Indigenous English.

Both projects take steps to challenge a long history shared by many mainstream environmental organizations of ignoring the presence of Indigenous and diverse Peoples on the lands targeted by their conservation and stewardship campaigns.

Of Modoc and Hupa ancestry and an enrolled member of the Klamath Tribes, Jackson worked with kQwa’ste’not to ensure Coast Salish protocol was engaged with throughout the project. According to kQwa’ste’not, this work is an “invitation to walk across the many bridges offered, to witness protocol as more than a recited statement, to do the work of putting on a ‘new pair of glasses’ and aid in decision making from ‘the place of grey.’ All this is necessary so that voices not heard or invited to the ‘table of environmental conversations’ can be present creating a pathway jointly for our collective future and our collective great great grandbabies lives, both human and non-human.”

Read Elizabeth’s final report, A Pathway Together: Approaches to Intercultural Climate Engagement Using Indigenous and Diverse Lenses, to find out more about the project and how to engage with the toolkit.