March 2022 Climate Change & Water Newsletter


NEW: The BCAFN Climate Change and Water Community Leadership Initiative

Share your work!


What is it?

BCAFN's Climate Change & Water Community Leadership Initiative aims to help First Nations with their climate and water leadership through facilitating information sharing within communities. We invite First Nations to share their own unique stories about climate change and water-related work, including but not limited to land and water management, forestry, water security, food sovereignty, energy efficiency and clean energy, Indigenous rights, energy management and response,  Indigenous knowledge and First Nations laws. All accepted submissions will be featured one at a time in BCAFN's Climate Change and Water Newsletters. The winning applicant(s) will be given an honorarium to further support their work: $150 will be awarded to the writer and $600 will be awarded towards the First Nations community.


How can I participate?

Entries should be between 200 to 300 words, provided with relevant photos, if possible. Please send your submissions to

The month of March marks the national month of Water Action. The month of Water Action stands as a mere reminder that with life must come water, meaning that each and every day is a day to protect the water and ensure all beings' right to water. Watch BCAFN's 'Honouring our Waters on World Water Day' video below, featuring Kukpi7 Judy Wilson and her mother, Elder Minnie Kenoras, leading a water ceremony on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Territories in honour of World Water Day on March 22, 2022.

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, AFN National Chief RoseAnne Archibald, Elder Minnie Kenoras, and Joann Buffalo at the water ceremony. Photo credit to BC Assembly of First Nations' "Honouring our Waters on Water Day".

This year's World Water Day is dedicated to groundwater, and the theme is making the invisible visible. It balances us as humans, it balances our Earth, and it creates life for us. And so, women doing water ceremonies is very important to acknowledge the role that women have in caring water, in giving life, and in doing these ceremonies. - AFN National Chief RoseAnne Archibald


Water is more precious than oil. Water has to have that respect, and it can't be just legislated or policied. - Kukpi7 Judy Wilson

Where the Land Meets the Water: The ʔElhdaqox Dechen Ts’edilhtan (“The Sturgeon River Law”) of the ʔEsdilagh First Nation

The Fraser River. Photo credit to the Tsilhqot'in National Government

Where the Land meets the Water. This is the meaning behind ʔEsdilagh'" of the ʔEsdilagh First Nation, one of the Peoples of the Tŝilhqotin Nation. Since time immemorial, they have lived along the mountainous ranges encircling the ʔElhdaqox, also known as the Sturgeon River or Fraser River, ensuring the sustenance of their reciprocal relationship with their ancestral nen (lands) and tu (waters).


Colonial institutions and systems have and continue to violate the wellbeing of the Tŝilhqot’in Nation’s ancestral nen and tu. On May 27, 2020, the ʔEsdilagh First Nation and the Tŝilhqotin Council of Chiefs adopted and enacted the ʔElhdaqox Dechen Tsedilhtan - a law protecting the ʔElhdaqox and the inherent and constitutional rights of the Tŝilhqotin Nation. Crown governments, industries, private investors, and every individual must recognize and respect First Nations’ customary laws as a part of their reconciliation commitments. By implementing and enforcing their own laws, First Nations are able to enhance their nationhood and achieve self-determination. 


The ʔElhdaqox Dechen Tsedilhtan is a historical step forward in aligning the stewardship and management of the ʔElhdaqox under the inherent governance, teachings, and values of the Tŝilhqotin Nationa Nation whose identity and livelihood are strongly bound to the life and preservation of the ʔElhdaqox. Together, the Nation strives to protect the nen, the tu, and all of the living things it gives life and support to–including the ʔEhldachugh (sturgeon), Ts’eman (sockeye salmon), Jaŝ (chinook salmon), Lhu ŝilh ch’il (whitefish), Sabay (bull trout), Tislagh (steelhead trout), Tŝintil (burbot), Dandzex (coho salmon), and Jaŝ lant’eh (pink salmon). 

The ʔEsdilagh First Nation (Alexandria First Nation) held a signing ceremony to ratify its new ʔElhdaqox Dechen Ts’edilhtan (“Sturgeon River Law”).  Photo credit to the Tsilhqot'in National Government.

An excerpt from the ʔElhdaqox Dechen Tsedilhtan:

“Our Nation’ relationships to our territory make us who we are; The River People. These relationships define us as a Nation and highlight our protection and stewardship responsibilities that are grounded in our inherent and self-government rights. The tu (“waters”) in our territory, including ʔElhdaqox, are vital to our Nation. We cannot survive without them. The tu that our babies are carried in in the womb is sacred and is a direct connection to the tu in our landscape which continues to give us life after we are born. It is therefore critical we express this dechen ts’edilhtan in written form to protect the tu within our territory for our children, grandchildren and the generations to come.”

FNLC Water Rights Pre-Engagement Session

First Nations Leadership Council | April 27, 2022 at 9 AM PT via Zoom


The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) will be hosting a pre-engagement for the upcoming amendments and update of the FNLC First Nations Water Rights Strategy. The purpose of the First Nations Water Rights Strategy amendments is to modernize a collective First Nations strategy on water-related issues and priorities. These events are open to First Nations Chiefs, leadership, experts, technicians, and community members are welcome to attend these upcoming events.


? For more information, contact Register here.


BCAFN Dialogue on First Nations Land-Based Carbon Offsets

BC Assembly of First Nations | April 19, 2022 at 1 PM PT via Zoom


BCAFN is pleased to invite First Nations leadership, technicians, and community members to a virtual open discussion about the benefits, limitations, opportunities, and challenges of community-led land-based carbon offsets projects.


? For more information, contact Register here.


2022 Cornell Business Impact Symposium: Climate Finance

Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise and eCornell | April 11, 2022 at 3 PM PT


Hosted by the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise in collaboration with Voiz@Cornell club, they present a panel exploring climate finance and the role it plays in mitigating climate change.


? Find more information and register here.


FNMPC 5th Annual IEE Conference: Toward Net Zero by 2050

First Nations Major Projects Coalition | Conference Date: April 25 to 26, 2022


The First Nations Major Projects Coalition is hosting their 5th annual industry engagement event. The event will host Indigenous leaders, experts, policy makers, and investors across Canada to highlight carbon reducing examples in energy generation and transmission, minerals and materials, finance, and policy and regulation. Virtual attendance for the two-day event is free for non-FNMPC Indigenous community members.


? Find more information here. Register here.


Call for Proposals in National Tribal & Indigenous Climate Conference

The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals | Conference Date: August 29, 2022 to September 1, 2022 (Hybrid) | Proposal Deadline: Friday, April 22, 2022


The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals invites you to submit proposals in one or more of the conference tracks to discuss climate-related impacts, assessments, tools, adaptation, mitigation, actions, and the intersection of western science and adaptation strategies with Traditional/Indigenous Knowledges.


? Find more information here.

Indigenous Climate Funding

Government of Canada | Deadlines: Vary


The Indigenous Climate Funding page is a list of federal funding programs available to support Indigenous climate action. There are filters on the left of the tables to help narrow your search.


? Find available Indigenous Climate Funding here.


CleanBC Communities Fund

CleanBC | Application Period: January 26, 2022 to May 25, 2022


The CleanBC Communities Fund provides provincial and federal funding for community infrastructure projects that reduce reliance on fossil fuels. The fund is open to local governments, Indigenous governments, not-for-profit organizations working in collaboration with Indigenous or local governments, and for-profit organizations working in collaboration with Indigenous or local governments.


? Find more information here.

CleanBC Communities Fund Webinar Recordings


? Introductory Webinar: Learn more about the CleanBC Communities Fund program eligibility, objectives, application requirements, and tips from program staff and previously successful applicants.

? GHG Methodology Webinar: Gain a deeper understanding of the greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment process and evaluation criteria, learn about best practices for generating baseline and project emissions scenarios.

? Innovation and Resilience Webinar: Learn how you can integrate innovation and climate resilience into your CleanBC Communities Fund application submission.


2030 Emissions Reduction Plan - Canada's Next Steps for Clean Air and a Strong Economy


On March 29, 2022, the Environment and Climate Change Canada tabled in the House of Commons the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, a legislated requirement under the Net-Zero Emissions Act. This plan seeks to reduce Canada's footprint by 40-45% below 2005 levels in eight years. Indigenous organizations, including the AFN, sent comments to inform this plan early this year. Submissions can be found in the document annexes.


New IWGIA briefing paper analyzing the recognition of Indigenous Peoples in latest IPCC report


The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) presents a briefing note analyzing the findings of the IPCC report concerning Indigenous Peoples.


UN World Water Development Report 2022: Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible


The 2022 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report entitled 'Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible' describes the challenges and opportunities associated with the development, management, and governance of groundwater across the world.


Carbon markets could help the planet, but only if Indigenous land rights are recognized

Corporate Knights | Written by Sebastien Jodoin and Katherine Lofts


"A new report found many of the carbon sinks targeted by offsetting schemes are in Indigenous lands where rights have not been secured" Read more here.


Are you interested in sharing an event, opportunity, or resource for our BCAFN Climate Change & Water Newsletter?

For climate change-related submissions:

Please contact Patricia Rojas, BCAFN Regional Climate Coordinator at


For water-related submissions:

Please contact Sophia Iliopulos, BCAFN Regional Water Coordinator at


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