The Pacific

People & place, thriving together.

Ensuring that ecosystems and the communities that rely on them are healthy and resilient.

Working with Pacific communities and changemakers to re-imagine what’s possible

From temperate rainforests to rich marine ecosystems, the Pacific coast of British Columbia (B.C.) supports the highest levels of biodiversity in Canada. Home to over 200 distinct First Nations, and more than half  of the Indigenous languages in Canada, the Pacific region’s dynamic communities have distinct connections to place. These lands, waters, and cultures are the foundation of coastal livelihoods.

Together with our partners, the Pacific Program makes way for people and place to thrive together.

Our work in the Pacific spans over 20 years, with roots in the Great Bear Rainforest campaign and Agreements. Decades of environmental movements, philanthropic partnerships, and public policy advancements have achieved transformative outcomes in British Columbia – but there is more to be done.

From enabling new protected areas to activating a regenerative economy that advances Reconciliation, we work in partnership with communities and changemakers as they re-imagine what’s possible.

Program Priorities

Healthy lands and waters are the foundation of sustainable coastal livelihoods. From old-growth forests to river basins, British Columbia’s unique ecosystems support incredible biodiversity, and are the foundation of cultural, economic and social wellbeing.

MakeWay helps communities secure healthy lands and waters for current and future generations.

As partners we:

  • Collaboratively advance effective models of land and water protection
  • Support Indigenous-led stewardship and ecosystem monitoring
  • Catalyze habitat protection for keystone species, particularly wild salmon
  • Facilitate networks among Indigenous, funder and sector leaders
  • Bridge philanthropy with community-led work
  • Foster civic and government engagement around ecosystem protection

Focus areas:

  • Terrestrial and marine conservation and planning
  • Indigenous-led protected areas 
  • Land and water stewardship
  • Ecosystem-based management implementation
  • Freshwater governance
  • Wild salmon habitat protection
  • Resource management policy reform
  • First Nations legal and cultural revitalization
  • Science and Indigenous-led research

Language, culture and identity play critical roles in community health and well-being pillars that centuries of colonization attempted to disrupt among Indigenous communities. For Indigenous communities, cultural identities are intimately tied to land and water, and cultural affirmation co-exists with environmental protection and stewardship.

MakeWay supports communities, especially Indigenous communities, to achieve their visions for a resilient future.

As partners we:

  • Support First Nations in advancing their visions of healing and well-being
  • Support community health via land-based wellness initiatives
  • Advance food security initiatives
  • Enable sustainable economies and community-led economic development initiatives
  • Encourage holistic funding approaches among sector partners by generating knowledge and enabling shared learning
  • Foster connections among Indigenous community leaders through hosting peer networks


Focus areas:

  • Indigenous authority and leadership
  • Indigenous land, language and cultural revitalization
  • Land-based wellness programming
  • Indigenous food sovereignty
  • Community economic development initiatives
  • Youth stewardship leaders

Long-term land, water and community well-being requires us to re-imagine what is possible and re-design the systems and beliefs that impede positive change.

MakeWay supports the people, processes and policies that help us get there.

As partners we:

  • Enable the social and economic conditions necessary for systems change
  • Support sector leaders with environmental policy reform
  • Generate knowledge that champions ecosystem protection, sustainable economic development, and policy reform
  • Support work that advances Reconciliation
  • Coordinate shared learning networks among systems change leaders
  • Amplify the work of systems change leaders through our tools, platform, and networks
  • Foster collaboration among communities and institutions to amplify impact
  • Enable new funders and partners towards pursuing shared work

Focus areas:

  • Innovative land and water governance
  • Regulatory and policy reform
  • Indigenous legal systems revitalization and UNDRIP implementation
  • Environmental education and storytelling
  • Climate resilience

Tools for Change

Today’s complex environmental and social landscape requires not only proven but democratic, community-driven approaches to positive change. The Pacific program reduces barriers and provides the expertise, experience, strategic partnerships, and deep community connections necessary to ensure that all efforts go further.

At MakeWay, we enable the initiatives and changemakers that move us forward. We go beyond surface solutions, amplifying work that maximizes positive, sustainable change.

Our Program team’s deep, trust-based relationships and subject matter expertise helps direct resources in meaningful ways and builds relationships with changemakers on the ground. The result is an informed and engaged giving strategy that amplifies impact.

What we Do:

  • Work with communities on strategies that help achieve ecosystem health, community well-being and systems change
  • Work in respectful partnership with Indigenous communities
  • Collaborate in active partnership with communities to help articulate, design, and implement lasting solutions
  • Strengthen outcomes through coordinated, holistic funding approaches
  • Act as networkers, conveners, and relationship builders
  • Democratize philanthropy through accessible funding

Current Grantmaking Funds:

  • Land and Water Protection & Stewardship
  • Indigenous Authority and Leadership
  • Wild Salmon Habitat Protection
  • Food Security

If you are a grantee seeking to learn more about our funds, please contact a member of the Pacific team.

Our shared platform is enabling change across the region. Creating on the ground impact takes time and resources. The shared platform supports grassroots and innovative initiatives by providing charitable expertise and operational support, so that they can concentrate on what they do best driving real change.

Be it by providing a neutral space to host groundbreaking marine co-governance agreements, to paving the way for Indigenous-led protected areas, MakeWay supports changemakers in seeing out their visions.

What we Do:

  • House over 60 unique and aligned projects
  • Increase charitable capacity across the Pacific region
  • Enable changemakers to focus on doing
  • Support grassroots initiatives working towards towards healthy lands and waters, community wellbeing and systems change
  • Foster collaboration among projects
  • Provide tools for governance, compliance and financial management
  • Administer grants, human resources, risk management strategies

We’re stronger together. Collaboratives and networks bring funders and community-led initiatives together to pool or align resources and share ideas. This gives communities a seat at the table for decision-making, more administrative support for funders, and opportunities for greater impact through shared learning and evaluation.

MakeWay’s Pacific team plays different roles in collaboratives: We convene groups of potential partners to create funder collaboratives, while also supporting collaborative networks, like networks of freshwater leaders, at the community and sector level. Alternatively we can set up and host an existing collaborative, providing administrative and operational structure.

What we Do:

  • Enable peer-to-peer networks
  • Coordinate among funders and sector partners to streamline work
  • Combine efforts to improve the efficiency of accessing money and other resources (such as tools and equipment)
  • Promote more informed and effective grantmaking
  • Make it easier for communities to access funding
  • Break down the traditional model of top-down philanthropy
  • Strengthen connections among philanthropic institutions and communities
  • Most collaboratives include additional programming like knowledge exchange, shared measurement, storytelling etc.

An alternative to starting a foundation, donor advised funds are an efficient and effective vehicle for charitable giving. Whether by shifting land and water governance into the hands of communities, or helping activate a new protected area, donor advised funds are an efficient and effective vehicle to charitable impact and giving.

We take care of the administration and due diligence, creating an efficient alternative to starting your own foundation, and enabling long-term change.

What we Do:

  • Enable efficient, Flexible Giving
  • Fossil Fuel-Free Investment Portfolio
  • Leave a Legacy or honor a loved one
  • Manage charitable giving from one place, minimizing costs and maximizing impact
  • Connect donors to community-led initiatives

In collaboration, we create custom solutions to help achieve change. With 20 years of experience building and implementing a unique approach, MakeWay is a proven partner.

Advisory services we offer our partners include, but are not limited to: Research and scoping, strategy and design, grants management and delivery, evaluation and learning.

What we Do:

  • Define a tailored giving strategy
  • Connect partners to purpose-aligned initiatives that go deeper with philanthropy
  • Help partners dive into new issues and geographies or expand an existing program
  • Evaluate outcomes, share learnings, and revise as needed

At MakeWay we have committed to aligning our investment dollars with our mission. Whether it’s directing investment to the next generation of sustainable salmon aquaculture technology, or nature-based infrastructure solutions, all of our investments are fossil fuel-free and screened for environmental, social, and governance (ESG).

MakeWay offers the country’s first fully-customizable 100% impact invested donor advised fund – ImpactDAF. The ImpactDAF is a unique philanthropic vehicle that provides the grantmaking functions of a DAF, while also mobilizing the underlying investments for positive impact. Each ImpactDAF has a customized financial and impact strategy that aligns with its purpose. This means that ImpactDAFs are able to have a positive impact through grantmaking and investing.

What we Do:

  • Align values with investments to achieve financial and social return
  • Offer a fossil fuel-free ESG portfolio (managed by Genus)
  • Lead research on new impact investing solutions
  • Provide impact measurement using a methodology aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals


Community-led initiatives building long-term environmental and community resiliency across the Pacific.

“MakeWay offers a much-needed service of civil society, a venue centered around common values and objectives that supports grassroots, First Nations, science-based conservation, and informed decision making… It is invaluable to be able to do the work we do with the support of organizations such as MakeWay.”

Tara Marsden
Wilp Sustainability Director, Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs Office

Learn more about the Pacific Program

Kim Hardy

Kim Hardy
Lead, Pacific Partnerships

Bridgitte Taylor

Bridgitte Taylor
Pacific Team Lead

Support the Pacific Program