Indigenous and local peoples’ connections with nature are not only limited to the benefits or services people derive from ecosystems, as considered by international frameworks, but also entail peoples’ capabilities (knowledges and skills) that enable people to derive those benefits. Applying Sen's (1993) Capability Approach, this paper proposes an ecosystem services framework that underscores peoples’ capabilities along with well-being benefits, to inform policy decision-making about the value of natural resources towards Indigenous and local peoples’ well-being. We offer an economic perspective of considering Indigenous and local estates as a source of opportunities, and construct an integrated framework based on six case studies across the globe. We argue that supporting Indigenous and local peoples to utilize and build capabilities to manage natural systems will deliver manifold benefits to them as well as to the wider public. Moreover, learning Indigenous and local ethics to care for nature will help many of us to better manage and value our fast depleting natural resources.