The WILD Foundation will, at all times, respect the communities with whom we work and the people and nature whom we serve. We will maintain integrity in our actions and communications and take responsibility for our decisions and their consequences. This Code applies to all employees, associates, and governing body members.
We commit to:
- Act honestly and truthfully in all our dealings;
- Honor both the spirit and the letter of the law, and to comply with all governmental laws, rules, and regulations applicable to our operations;
- Avoid any actual or apparent conflict of interest between our own personal interests and the interests of the organization; and act in a timely and diligent matter to address any such conflicts of interest that may arise;
- Treat with dignity and respect every individual and all life in nature;
- Encourage diversity in all practices, policies, and programs;
- Act with fairness and good faith to our employees and provide conditions of employment that safeguard their rights and welfare;
- Be responsible partners and collaborators with the people and communities with which we work, and the natural world for which we are responsible, acting at all times for the highest possible benefit of people and nature;
- Recognize that the assets of the organization are for the public good and we are their stewards, therefore we protect and use them efficiently to advance our public-service work;
- Foster a working environment that encourages all employees, associates, and directors to ask questions, voice concerns, and make appropriate suggestions regarding operations, their responsibilities, and the results to which we collectively aspire;
- Be transparent in, and responsible and accountable for, all of our actions.
Indigenous Stewardship, Powerful Partnerships and Co-Leadership for Committed Conservation Collaboration
The WILD Foundation celebrates its deep and thriving traditional roots in being co-founded by Magqubu Ntombela, a tribal Zulu of the old order, and his white South African brother and colleague, the famous conservationist Ian Player. Our work is charged with integrating and demonstrating both the Indigenous perspective that informs all our programs, and also the partnership of traditional and contemporary peoples’ knowledge, wisdom and commitment to relationship with wilderness. This integrated, holistic ethic has shaped and made successful all that WILD does as we work with our Indigenous brothers and sisters in North America, throughout Latin America and the Amazon, Asia, Australia and elsewhere.
Our ethic and practice, simply stated, is that we celebrate and empower our partnership with Indigenous Peoples. We work with them as fellow activists and co-creators of a better future and recognize their leadership on diverse and important issues.
While this ethic is inherent to all our programs, it bears mentioning that the 1st World Wilderness Congress (1977) was the first major global conservation Congress that included the voices of many Indigenous Peoples commenting and advising on serious matters of conservation, culture, and governance. This tradition of course continued and increased in many substantive ways, not the least of which was a special Native Lands and Wilderness Council at three of the Congresses in which we facilitated many Indigenous lands and seas managers to elevate valuable voices and important stories that have been silenced.
Further, our main office in Boulder, Colorado occupies lands that are recognized by treaty as the territories of Indigenous Nations including the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute peoples. We recognize and understand that we benefit from the historic and ongoing injustices committed against the Native peoples of this land and work actively to right these wrongs.
The Arapaho, the main tribe of the Boulder Valley region, call themselves Hinono’eino (“our people”) and refer to their tribe as Hinono’eiteen (Arapahoe Nation). While the Hinóno’éí and Cheyenne are now in Oklahoma, they continue to relate to Boulder, Colorado as their homeland. We especially honor the spirit, actions, and ethic of Arapahoe Chief Niwot (Left-Hand) who so wisely but unsuccessfully tried to negotiate co-existence with the white settlers.
Please join us in remembering that Boulder Valley is home to the Hinóno’éí people and to other tribes that camped, hunted, and traded here for centuries. It is also important to remember that Native people of many Indigenous nations live here in Boulder today, and that Native cultures are alive, active and evolving in the face of continuing challenges, and are an important part of our collective present and future.
(with grateful acknowledgement to the Boulder Healing Hub)