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Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Canada, right, speaks during the opening news conference of COP15, the UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, Tuesday, on Dec. 6, as Huang Runqiu, President, COP15 and Minister of Ecology and Environment of China looks on.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

The federal government is announcing the creation of a new network that will help support Indigenous-led environmental initiatives.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault made the announcement today at the United Nations COP15 meeting in Montreal.

He said the First Nations National Guardians Network will build on the Indigenous guardians program, which has funded some 170 individual Indigenous-led projects since 2018.

He did not specify how much funding would be allocated for the new network.

The director of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative said the structure will help to strengthen relationships between Indigenous communities and help them work together on projects to protect the environment and fight climate change.

Valérie Courtois told reporters that the network will operate as a not-for-profit corporation, and its mandate will include creating a governance structure that will establish what it means to be a guardian.

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