World leaders gathered together in Glasgow, UK for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference from October 21st, 2021 to November 12th, 2021. Three Indigenous leaders from BC who attended what is considered to be the most important climate summit, shared their messages with the world.
Leona Humchitt, Member and Climate Action Coordinator of the Heiltsuk Nation. Retrieved from National Observer.
Leona Humchitt, from the Heiltsuk Nation, emphasized the need to empower Indigenous energy sovereignty as a step towards climate change solutions, ecological resilience, and reconciliation. At a COP26 event hosted by Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE), she shared the story of the Heiltsuk First Nation’s $20 million clean energy plan that will reduce GHG emissions by 19,350 tonnes. The plan includes retrofitting community homes, installing heat pumps, selling carbon credits, and exploring the use of kelp biomass as renewable diesel.
“One of our Elders said, 'Thank you so much for my heat pump. I forgot what heat felt like'. It’s statements like these that propel our desire and goal to ensure that every home is retrofitted with a source of renewable energy. The Haíɫzaqv words for clean energy are ɫáxváika'aus qṇts wáxv'w̓uísáx̌ - the power that comes from our territories, which includes solar, hydro, tidal, wind, and geothermal. Wáxv'w̓uísá is an all encompassing word that’s closest translation is “environment”. The Haíɫzaqv do not divide our natural world into pieces, everything is one. We are a part of the wáxv'w̓uísá, therefore we are responsible to it. Our responsibility to our land, water, sky, and other living things is our ultimate responsibility. This teaching is what gives our climate action work, it’s power. ”
- Leona Humchitt
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary Treasurer of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and Chief of Neskonlith Indian Band. Retrieved from CNN.
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, from the Neskonlith Indian Band, addressed how Indigenous peoples are still needing to carve their own spaces at international gatherings like COP, and that climate decisions must reflect the voices of Indigenous peoples. Representing the Union of the BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), she was a speaker at the Indigenous People’s Pavilion, a panelist at the screening for the Canadian documentary “Anthropocene: The Human Epoch”, and an active member in Indigenous-led marches in Glasgow.
“We can no longer continue to tolerate this climate crisis that was colonial-made. Even the solutions that are coming out of COP here are still colonial solutions because they are not respecting the recognition of the Indigenous title and rights, the proper title holders.”
- Kukpi7 Judy Wilson
Nuskmata, Member and Mining Spokesperson of the Nuxalk Nation. Retrieved from The Narwhal.
Nuskmata, from the Nuxalk Nation, brought awareness to how Indigenous peoples are bearing the brunt of extractive activities required for solutions such as electrification and renewable energy, and that Indigenous governance and leadership need to be at the core of climate decisions. Nuskmata also addressed B.C. and Canada’s failure to uphold their commitments to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) by permitting projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline and Site C Dam on Indigenous lands.
“Meanwhile, money keeps flowing out of territories in the form of trees, minerals, foods and medicines while [B.C. and Canada] keep our communities in stable poverty with their colonial institutions.”
Leona Humchitt, Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, and Nuskmata are three inspiring Indigenous leaders shaping history. They call attention to Canada's continued pursuit for fossil-fuel industries despite the climate emergency, challenging the racist and colonial framework that global climate decisions continue to operate under. They are paving the path for Indigenous voices, rights, and leadership at the table, because that is only when successful climate decisions are possible.
The urgency of this message becomes clearer as climate change escalates with uncertainty. As COP26 approached its end, an atmospheric river struck BC that caused major flooding. BC entered its third State of Emergency as the catastrophic floods submerged highways, washed away houses, triggered landslides, and caused large-scale evacuations. This week, BC anticipates its third atmospheric river event.
Connecting Climate Data & Information to Climate Action
The BC Assembly of First Nations - December 2nd, 2021 (11:00 am to 2:30 pm PT)
The BC Assembly of First Nations invites you to a workshop on intersecting Indigenous knowledge and western climate data, and integrating climate information into impact, vulnerability, and risk assessments.
Register here. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Source Water Protection Webinar Series
Okanagan Basin Water Board - December 2021
The Okanagan Basin Water Board hosts a series of free webinars for those interested in, or responsible for, protection of drinking water sources.
Protecting watersheds & aquifers
Free - December 1st, 2021 (11 am to 12 pm PT)
Mapping risks to drinking water
Free - December 8th, 2021 (11 am to 12 pm PT)
Monitoring & reporting
Free - December 15th, 2021 (11 am to 12 pm PT)
Global change in the Alpine of North America: Impacts on Biodiversity
SFU School of Environmental Science Seminar Series - December 3rd, 2021 (3:30 pm PT)
In this SFU-hosted seminar, Dr. Scott Hotaling will integrate community ecology, ecophysiology, and molecular tools to give a broad overview of the existing biodiversity in high mountains and aquatic habitats, and their potential fate under climate change. Register here.
Indigenous Knowledge, Education, and Curricular: The important contributions of Indigenous peoples
Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform - December 8th, 2021 (7:00 am to 9:30 am PT)
This webinar by the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP) aims to identify and disseminate information about the development, use of curricula and materials of Indigenous peoples that incorporate Indigenous knowledge and languages in education systems and responses to climate change. Register here.
2022 PICS Internship Program
The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions - Applications close on January 17th, 2022
The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) internship program supports BC governments, BC-based non-governmental agencies, Indigenous communities, private companies and Crown corporations with $12,000 in funding to hire a student intern for a minimum of 13 weeks.
To apply, please submit an Internship Application Form by January 17th, 2022.
WIPO Photography Prize for Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Youth 2021-2022
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) - Applications close on January 22nd, 2022
The theme of the 2021-2022 WIPO Photography Prize is Climate Change and Climate Action: Mother Earth through our Lenses. Eligible participants are members of Indigenous peoples or local communities located in one of WIPO’s Member States (including Canada) under 30 years old.
Submit your photographs here by January 22nd, 2022.
Wage Subsidies for Indigenous Employees
Indigenous Clean Energy - Placements to start ideally before December 1st, 2021
A limited number of wage subsidies up to a maximum of $32,000 for organizations looking to employ an Indigenous youth ages 18 to 30. Eligible employers are those in the natural resources sector, and eligible organizations include environmental NGOs, governments, First Nations, renewable energy companies, utilities, etc.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
First Nations Funding Placemat
Environment and Climate Change Canada - Submission dates vary
A placemat on new and open funding opportunities for First Nations in food security, infrastructure & energy, climate change adaptation & conservation, and economic development.
Call for Submissions: Indigenous Perspectives Case Studies
The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices - Applications close on January 5th, 2022
The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices invites Indigenous independent researchers, Knowledge Holders, PhD and postdoctoral researchers, and consultants to apply to create case studies that serve to broaden conversations about climate policy recommendations from an Indigenous lens. Successful recipients will receive a stipend of $15,000 to complete their research.
For more information and or to submit your application package, please contact email@example.com with “Indigenous Perspectives Case Study” as the subject heading.
Survey on Indigenous Freshwater Management and Governance in BC 2021
Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources and First Nations Fisheries Council of British Columbia - Survey closes on December 17th, 2021
Help the First Nations Fisheries Council of BC understand changes in Indigenous-led management and governance of fresh water in BC by taking this survey. In completing this survey, your name will be entered in a prize draw for one of the following prizes:
- 1 of 3 grants for your community towards an ongoing or new environmental initiative valued at $1,500 each
- 1 of 20 Visa gift cards valued at $100 each
Complete the survey by Friday, December 17th, 2021 to be entered into the prize draw.
Are you interested in making a submission for our BCAFN Climate Change & Water Newsletter?
For climate change related submissions:
Please contact Patricia Rojas, BCAFN Regional Climate Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
For water related submissions:
Please contact Sophia Iliopulos, BCAFN Regional Water Coordinator at email@example.com
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