Valérie Courtois: If you take care of the land, the land will take care of you Valérie Courtois works with Indigenous Nations to preserve and protect lands and waters across Canada, and she says healing our relationship to the land can help us heal too.

How Indigenous guardian programs can help the land and the people taking care of it

How Indigenous guardian programs can help the land and the people taking care of it

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Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Relationship Repair.

Valérie Courtois works with Indigenous Nations to preserve and protect lands and waters across Canada, and she says healing our relationship to the land can help us heal too.

About Valérie Courtois

Valérie Courtois is the founding director of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, where she is an expert on Indigenous-led conservation and strengthening efforts to protect lands and waters.

She has also served as a forestry advisor for the Assembly of First Nations of Québec and Labrador, forestry planner for the Innu Nation and as a consultant in Aboriginal forestry.

Courtois was selected as the 2023 winner of Stanford University's highest environmental prize, the Bright Award for Environmental Sustainability. She has also been named a distinguished alumnus of the Forestry Faculty of the University of Moncton and most recently received an Honorary Doctorate in Laws (honoris causa) from the University of Guelph.

Valérie Courtois is a member of the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh, located on the shore of Peikuakami, or Lac-St-Jean, in what is now known as Québec.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Harsha Nahata and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadioHour@npr.org.