Ecotrust Canada


Mission Statement

Ecotrust Canada works with rural, remote and Indigenous communities toward building an economy that provides for a healthy and resilient natural environment; sustainable and abundant energy, food, and housing; prosperous and meaningful livelihoods; and vibrant and inclusive cultures. We call this approach Building an Economy that Provides for Life.


A System in Need of Change: We assert that our current economy, which is dependent on ever-increasing growth, resource extraction, and unrestrained consumption, is fundamentally at odds with the social and environmental needs of the world.
Building Resilient, Local Economies: As our current economic system breaks apart, it is along the fractured edges that Ecotrust Canada plants the seeds for systems change.
Proving the Possible through Social Innovation: Our approach focuses on triggering systems change through social innovation. Our work is social — we support communities in creating change for themselves as active participants who take the lead in defining their own futures. Our work is innovative — our strategies explore alternative solutions, both new and old, that are outside the bounds of the current economic system.
Learning Lessons and Scaling Success: Over our 25-year history we have had known great success, as well as notable failures, and both are crucial to the innovation process. Our commitment is to learn what worked and what didn’t, and to share those lessons as widely as possible.

Program Details

Climate Innovation: Ecotrust Canada is developing natural climate solutions – community-led, climate friendly, forest management strategies that fight climate change, create jobs, and protect environmental, social, and cultural values. Ecotrust Canada is also working to develop and deliver a Forest Carbon Economy Fund, as well as integrating blockchain technology to support climate action.
Community Fisheries: Community fisheries are vital for local food security, our cultural connection to the sea, and supporting rural and remote economies. Ecotrust Canada works with active fish harvesters in Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities on creating better government policy, and improving fisheries monitoring, observing, and data collection. With First Nations partners, Ecotrust Canada has established a framework for locally led monitoring programs along the North and South Coast of BC, as well as designing training programs for Great Slave Lake observers in the Northwest Territories. Ecotrust Canada is also creating transparency around Illegal, Underreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing through Spyglass, an online database of criminal fishing activities across the globe.
Community Energy: Ecotrust Canada believes that new, clean technologies combined with innovative policies and local expertise can come together to solve energy poverty in Canada once and for all. A 2018 pilot project with the Heiltsuk Nation in Bella Bella replaced diesel furnaces in on-reserve homes with air-source heat pumps powered by clean energy. Based on the success of this project, the team is now broadening this approach and building capacity in other communities, as well as working with decision-makers to shift energy policy, and to develop innovative financing mechanisms.
Indigenous Home-Lands: Central to Home-Lands’ emerging mission is the concept of the ‘housing eco-system’ – a system with three pillars critical to Indigenous self-determination and community revitalization: Homelands, People, and Governance. Ecotrust Canada has established strategic partnerships with the Huu-ay-aht First Nation and the Tsilhqot’in National Government, through which Home-Lands will support communities in achieving culturally appropriate housing that is environmentally and financially sustainable.
Project - North Coast Innovation Lab: Building on our experience from the Local Economic Development Lab in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, the NCIL connects graduate students from all over Canada to work with community partners as project coordinators to explore the social innovations such as transforming an empty greenhouse into an edible garden for food security. Beyond student capacity, the NCIL facilitates gatherings and activities that enable dialogue, learning, collaboration, and innovation across organizations and sectors to build a more resilient community and local economy in Prince Rupert, BC.
Project - Wahkohtowin: This is a development partnership owned by the Indigenous communities of the Northeast Superior region of Ontario. In partnership with Ecotrust Canada, it is working to build an alternative economy around the forest sector, including an Indigenous youth guardian program, and innovation center, as well as partnering with our Home-Lands initiative to meet housing needs with locally harvested and processed wood.
Social Enterprises: Ecotrust Canada has launched a number of social enterprises, which currently include The Amp (a mission driven co-working space), Climate Smart (helps businesses reduce their carbon footprint), ThisFish (seafood traceability technology for fish processing plants across the world), and TeemFish Monitoring (affordable and effective electronic monitoring systems for independent and small boat fish harvesters).
Primary Issue
Climate Change
Secondary Issue
Suite 90 - 425 Carrall Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 6E3
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