Group sitting on a rock in Boundary waters

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice

Our Commitment

In 2018, Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness formed a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion workgroup of staff and board members to deliberate and act on our own organizational shortcomings as well as those of the outdoor industry and environmental movement as a whole. We recognized that we had much work to do - and indeed we still do.


A Wilderness for All

Wilderness and the pursuit of its protection should be made to be welcoming and accessible to all. Protecting Wilderness relies upon public engagement which cannot be expected when people are disenfranchised, unwelcome, hurt or tokenized due to their sexuality, race, age, ability, size, gender identity, gender expression, culture, religion, political affiliation, or anything else. The pursuit of permanent protection for the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mining and other threats is no different. Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness and the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of the organization as it works to protect this special place for everyone and for generations to come.

Each department and staff person has Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice plans built into their work, and our board DEIJ Committee and staff DEIJ Workgroup help direct and evaluate our progress around our workplace culture, operations, and organizational processes, recruitment and hiring, whose stories get told/shown, where we hold accessible events, who we partner and do business with, and how we support and collaborate with partner organizations including those that guide a wide diversity of people into the Boundary Waters.

To build an effective, grassroots movement to permanently protect the Boundary Waters, we must challenge ourselves and our community to be actively anti-racist, and help make sure sure that everyone can not only visit the Boundary Waters Wilderness but is part of the movement to protect it.

In 2021 we launched a small grants program to partner with and support individuals and groups too often excluded or facing barriers to outdoor recreation and advocacy. Grants amounts have been $1000-$3000.


Circle Of Discipline - Boundary Waters camping trip with inner-city youth and young adults
Ely Folk School - Traditional Anishinaabe (storytelling nights series led by a tribal elder from Bois Forte Band of Chippewa (Ojibwe)
Kyle Rucker/Ruck B Media - Film for elementary students featuring young Black adventurer 
Vermilion Community College - LGBTQ+ student group winter Boundary Waters activities
Victoria Carpenter - Short film by founder of Flip the Script queer film fest, featuring two-spirit Lakota poet Brave Crow
Voyageur Outward Bound School - Scholarship for Black leader's dogsledding expedition
Wilderness Canoe Base - Trip with LGBTQ+ Augsburg College students
YMCA Camp Menogyn - DEIJ consultant and summer camp evaluation and training


Big City Mountaineers
Boyz N The Woods
Cast Outdoors Adventures 
Wilderness Canoe Base
Kokoro Project
Loppet Foundation
YMCA Camp Northern Lights

We are members of Camber Outdoors - a workplace equity organization for the outdoor industry

In 2020 we signed the Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge

Read our annual DEIJ Reports:

Read our 2021 Report

Read our 2020 report  


Check out the Outdoorist Oath training opportunities

Blog: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Is Central to our Mission

The Boundary Waters is Anishinaabe land

Outside Safe Space Sticker. Pine tree with rainbow colors

Outside Safe Space Sticker 

The Outside Safe Space tree represents welcome to LGBTQ+ people. Whether you’re an ally or identify as LGBTQ+, wearing or displaying this symbol nonverbally communicates your support for folks being their authentic selves in rural and outdoor places--those outside traditionally welcoming spaces. This is the brain child of road trip and national parks expert Mikah Meyer, who uses outdoor adventure advocacy to bring awareness to the OSS project. 

The OSS symbol was thoughtfully designed to incorporate the history and diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. Use #AdventurePride on your favorite social media channels to share your support of inclusive environments for all!

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