Canada Invests in Climate Change Adaptation for Northern Ontario Indigenous Communities
From: Natural Resources Canada
November 12, 2020 Sudbury, Ontario Natural Resources Canada
Canada is investing in adaptation to climate change, to ensure that families and communities are able to remain strong and safe.
Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, and Marc Serré, Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, today announced an investment of $841,000 to Laurentian University to build climate change adaptation capacity among Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario.
Indigenous communities, particularly in the North, are having to adapt to unprecedented environmental changes that are increasing in speed and severity. Through knowledge sharing workshops and tools, this project will help these communities deal with the impacts of climate change today, while building capacity to prepare and adapt for the future.
The project is co-led by Grand Council Treaty 3 and the Tribal Councils of Mushkegowuk, Matawa, Nokiiwin, Shibogama, and Keewaytinook Okimakanak. It provides funding for each Tribal Council to recruit a climate specialist who will connect traditional Indigenous knowledge and Western science on matters related to climate change. The project will also involve community engagement the sharing of knowledge with First Nations communities across the country.
The project is funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Building Regional Adaptation Capacity and Expertise (BRACE) Program, a five-year, $18 million initiative under the Adaptation and Climate Resilience pillar of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The BRACE Program works with provinces to support training and knowledge-exchange that increases the ability of organizations, businesses and communities to adapt and accelerate their climate resilience.
“This program directly benefits Indigenous communities by helping individuals acquire the skills and knowledge needed to deal with the increasingly complex impacts of climate change. The Government of Canada will continue to work with Indigenous and northern communities to ensure they can prepare, adapt and build resilience for years to come.”
Mr. Paul Lefebvre
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources
“These Indigenous communities are taking action and preparing for a changing climate. We will keep our communities strong, safe and resilient by working together and sharing our diverse knowledge.”
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources
“Empowering Indigenous communities to fight climate change helps ensure a greener future for all. We will continue to support capacity building that protects nature and helps Northern Ontario and Nickel Belt – Greater Sudbury communities adapt.
Marc G. Serré, MP Nickel Belt
“Laurentian University is proud to collaborate with partners from six Tribal Councils on the BRACE project. We thank the government for supporting the important work being achieved through this partnership on climate change adaptation in the far North and congratulate Dr. Pearson for his leadership at Laurentian University. As stated in our Strategic Plan, the North inspires us, and this project will further enhance our relationships through culturally appropriate research that enhances wellness among Indigenous peoples and other northern populations.”
Dr. Robert Haché
President, Laurentian University
“Nokiiwin Tribal Council is proud to be a part of the NRCan BRACE program, where we are able to address the urgent climate change related issues that our member communities within the Robinson Superior Treaty territory are already facing. For many years, community members have noticed and documented changes to their land and environment, such as altered flood and freeze cycles, health risks such as Lyme Disease, and changes to the availability of traditional foods. This program has allowed community members to participate in climate change education, share their extensive knowledge of the land, and express their values around protecting Mother Earth with the goal of facilitating meaningful change.”
Tara Ingram, Economic Development and Community Development Advisor, Nokiiwin Tribal Council
Erica Tropea, Nokiiwin Tribal Council, BRACE Project Climate Change Specialist
“As the Matawa member First Nations face new climate realities, it is increasingly important to raise awareness and share knowledge on climate change. Our member communities have already experienced unprecedented changes surrounding food security, transportation, health, and social well-being; these changes are projected to expand and intensify in the years to come. Adapting to climate change requires a team effort and access to current, accurate, and relevant information. The BRACE project provides our First Nations with an opportunity to share, learn, and prepare to respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change, while working together with a network of forward-thinking communities and organizations across northern Ontario.”
Manager, Four Rivers Environmental Services Group, Matawa First Nations Management
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources