CIER is Canada’s first and only Indigenous-directed environmental non-profit charitable organization. CIER was founded in 1994 by 10 First Nation Chiefs from across Canada. These leaders recognized the need to build technical environmental capacity within Indigenous communities, so they have the tools they need to protect and sustainably use their lands and waters, regardless of whether non-Indigenous governments agree that they can — or should. Since 1994, CIER has worked on 450 projects with over 300 Indigenous nations across Canada.
CIER’s team members are based in BC, MB, ON, and NWT. Staff are Indigenous as well as non-Indigenous, as CIER leadership has always recognized that solving environmental challenges requires many different perspectives and worldviews. CIER is governed by an Indigenous Board of Directors and we collaborate with numerous national and regional Indigenous partner organizations and advisors.
Photo above (CIER): The CIER team in Winnipeg, July 2018.
Mission and Vision
CIER's ultimate impact will be realized when Indigenous nations in Canada are leaders of positive environmental change. They will use the best of western and indigenous knowledge to create a world that is in balance and supports the well-being of all living things.
CIER focuses on meeting Indigenous nations' needs, as they define them. We change the world by listening to and enabling, our First Nations partners to build on their strengths. We use and value traditional, local, and Western science methods, and work across political boundaries and cross-cultural settings on environmental issues, recognizing and respecting Indigenous rights.
About our Logo
Our logo embodies our pursuit to attain balance between the Earth and its peoples. The central figure, the Turtle, represents the Earth. A variety of legends says that the turtle offered its back for the foundation of the land known as North America. The turtle symbolizes a deep connection to the Earth and reminds us that we need to respect the Earth. The two circles above and below the turtle represent the sun and its reflection in the flowing water. The sun provides us with light and heat. It's reflection symbolizes that we need to reflect upon our Earth's situation, and as flowing water is in a constant pattern of change, we need to act upon our thoughts in order for change and cleansing to occur. The feathers represent a healing message from the Spirit beings. They point toward the trees, the sacred Spirits connecting the Earth and the sky. The sun and its reflection, the water, the feathers and the trees form a circle around a turtle representing interconnectedness between all of the aspects of life and nature. - Designed and painted by Reegan D. Breu in 1995.