Steve Nitah

ILI Leader Steven Nitah Joins Nature For Justice

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Steven Nitah

Steven NitahFor nearly a decade, Steven Nitah has been an active member of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative (ILI), helping to advise Indigenous Nations and advance Indigenous-led conservation at the national level. Now, he is embarking on an exciting new role with Nature For Justice.

The entire ILI team is grateful for Steven’s leadership over the past several years, and we are pleased that Nature For Justice with Steven in a leadership role will be a partner in the shared work of enabling Indigenous-led conservation and stewardship.  Notably, he will be exploring innovative financing opportunities for Indigenous-led conservation and stewardship, particularly related to the management of carbon.

Łutsël K'é Dene First Nation

A member of the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation, Steven Nitah was raised by his great grandparents on the land along the East Arm of Great Slave Lake. He was elected to the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly in 1999 and elected Chief of the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation in 2008.

Steven served as the Nation’s lead negotiator in the creation of the Thaidene Nëné Indigenous Protected Area—one of the largest protected areas in North America.

He was also a core member of the Indigenous Circle of Experts, contributing to the historic report We Rise Together about achieving Canada’s conservation goals through “the creation of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas in the spirit and practice of reconciliation.”

Steven has drawn on this knowledge and experience in his role as a Senior Leader with ILI. He has provided invaluable counsel to Indigenous Nations working to establish Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCA), he has advocated for federal recognition of IPCAs and Indigenous Guardians, and he has championed Indigenous-led conservation in international arenas.

N4J and Steven Nitah

Nature For Justice’s(N4J) mission is to use nature to address the social justice needs of vulnerable populations confronting the climate crisis around the world. N4J aims to secure funding from companies and other sources and provide technical resources to leading, in-country non-profits and businesses working with these marginalized communities.

Steven’s new position with N4J as the managing Director of Indigenous Affairs is a fitting extension of his ILI work.
We are excited to see where this new path takes Steven. We know it will include large-scale progress.

As he has said before, “people have done some wondrous things in the North. The environment—the vastness of it—kind of feeds the mentality of the people. If you want to do anything, you’ve got to do it in a big way to get it done. … Thaidene Nëné is a good example of that.”

Author

  • Valérie Courtois is a registered professional forester who specializes in Indigenous issues, forest ecology and ecosystem-based management and planning. She is a member of the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh, located on the shore of Peikuakami, or Lac-St-Jean.

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