The climate emergency endangers the security and ways of life of Indigenous peoples in British Columbia and around the world. The effects of global warming, such as rampant forest fires, flooding, drought, and elevated air and water temperatures, are impacting First Nations, their traditional territories and food sources, and ways of being that have been practiced since time immemorial.
First Nations are seriously threatened by the climate emergency but are also essential drivers of effective climate change action. Indigenous ecological knowledge, authority and deep responsibilities to traditional lands and waters are critical to achieving world targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions and developing effective climate adaptation strategies.
The BC Assembly of First Nations, as part of the First Nations Leadership Council, strongly advocates for First Nations in BC to be true partners with the Provincial and Federal Governments to tackle the climate emergency. This approach is consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and respectful of First Nations’ inherent Aboriginal Title, Rights and Treaty Rights.
In recognition of the climate emergency, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs Chiefs Council and the BCAFN Chiefs-in-Assembly have passed resolutions mandating that the FNLC take action to respond to climate change. In addition to previous resolutions, the UBCIC passed Resolution no. 2019-02,Climate Emergency and BC First Nations Climate Emergency Plan, and the BCAFN passed Resolution no. 04/2019, Climate Emergency and Support for the Development of a BC First Nations Climate Change Strategy.
Since 2019, the FNLC has worked with First Nations in BC to develop the First Nations Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan, endorsed by Chiefs in February and March of 2022.
The Strategy is designed to be a living and flexible document for use and implementation in different contexts. It is a means for collective advocacy on climate change while respecting the autonomy and self-determination of each Nation to address climate change on their own terms and through their own processes.
BC First Nations Climate Strategy and Action Plan (full document), Spring 2022
20 Urgent Calls for Action, 2022
Climate Change & Water Newsletter
The BC Assembly of First Nations produces a monthly newsletter showcasing community stories, resources, and funding opportunities related to Climate Change & Water. View past newsletters and sign up to receive upcoming newsletters here.