Our Principles

Watersheds are more than just ecological boundaries or drainage areas; they are an interconnected network of people, nature, land, and climate.

Our core principles are:

The Mission StatementWe put environment first.

What? The TNCC was started in March 2020 to explore options for greater support for, and collaboration among, groups doing conservation work in the Thompson-Nicola (T-N) region, including the possibility of a regional conservation partnership, similar to others in BC.

Who? It was initiated by the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD), with start-up funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada – Canadian Wildlife Service (ECCC-CWS). In April 2021, the TNCC will be launched as a member-driven collaborative organization, independent of government.  


Why? ECCC has identified 11 Priority Places for biodiversity conservation in Canada, including the BC Dry Interior. The T-N region comprises 45% of the Dry Interior and contains provincially, nationally and globally significant biodiversity values, including many species and ecosystems at risk. For example, the grassland ecosystem covers only 1% of the province but has over 30% of the species at risk.


When? In Phase 1, March 2020 to March 2021, consultants conducted background research, directed by an ad hoc Working Group, including 80 interviews with over 60 organizations. Results from the interviews show overwhelming support for the idea of a conservation partnership!

Cooperation, collaboration, communication

Western science + Indigenous knowledge and practices



Ecosystem-based approach

Indigenous priorities and perspectives

These core principles are foundational to the collaborative work of the TNCC and our partners:

  1. Improve conservation outcomes through cooperation, collaboration, and communication among partners strategically focused on priority concerns.
  2. Improve conservation of priority species and ecosystems by applying Western science and Indigenous knowledge and practices.
  3. Exemplify and promote respect in data sovereignty and relationship building  between and amongst partners.
  4. Ensure co-leadership between and amongst Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations and communities.
  5. Use an ecosystem-based approach to improve watershed management, with a focus on integrating biodiversity conservation into land, water and natural resource planning and management.
  6. Ensure that Indigenous priorities and perspectives are integral to the development and delivery of conservation and land use management programming coordinated by TNCC within the Thompson Watershed.

Photo by Katelyn Bissat

The TNCC respects and learns from Indigenous protocols and Indigenous peoples’ understanding of their interdependence on the natural world and through this, the reciprocal human-nature relationship with the land. Collectively, we are committed to integrating Indigenous priorities and collaboration between and amongst Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups through all processes. This includes shared decision-making, the inclusion of Indigenous leadership and knowledge, and the acknowledgement that caring for the environment is a shared responsibility.

We approach conservation issues through a watershed-scale lens. Watershed processes are necessary to support habitat for plants and animals, and provide drinking water for people and wildlife. They are the foundation of our shared health and wellbeing. We evaluate our conservation work within the context of the broader watershed system to ensure the sustainability of these complex networks.

“When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us”

Arapahoe proverb

Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana)