Today, in the spirit of partnership and in recognition of First Nations Climate Leadership, the First Nations–Canada Joint Committee on Climate Action (JCCA) released its fourth annual report to the Prime Minister and the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. The JCCA provides a unique opportunity for federal and First Nations representatives to work together to develop and implement a model of partnership for climate action to grow an inclusive, clean, and prosperous future together.
First Nations are uniquely and disproportionately affected by climate change. They are experiencing an increase in threats caused by wildfires, permafrost thaw, changing wildlife patterns, diminishing access to traditional food sources, and flooding. First Nations’ knowledge systems, self-determination, and rights must be woven into all federal climate policy and program development as their experiences and knowledge related to the environment and climate change are diverse and unique.
A growing body of evidence demonstrates that mobilizing Indigenous Knowledge in decision‑making can increase the viability of Canada’s responses to the various dimensions of climate change, including food, energy, and water security; resource co-management; the conservation of lands, waters, and ice; economic development; community infrastructure; and health and well-being. Canada is prioritizing initiatives that support self-determined climate action and amplify the leadership of First Nations to advance reconciliation and to address the impacts of climate change.
The JCCA made progress on many priorities in 2021, despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, as well as the devastating fires and floods that severely impacted many communities throughout British Columbia, including Lytton First Nation. This collaboration has been critical to advancing First Nations’ full and effective participation in clean growth and climate change programs, and ensuring that Canada’s climate solutions build on First Nations Climate Leadership and promote the full inclusion of First Nations.
The report highlights five priority areas for the JCCA discussions and activities in 2022, including
Accelerating First Nations’ full and effective participation in clean growth and climate change programs, including informing the upcoming National Adaptation Strategy.
Advancing the development of First Nations Climate Leadership through meaningful dialogue.
Monitoring and evaluating progress on First Nations Climate Leadership and the full and effective participation of First Nations in climate change programs.
Developing new communication tools to improve transparency, accountability, and engagement through JCCA activities.
Embedding an intergenerational and intersectional dialogue on climate change in all JCCA activities.
Indigenous Peoples’ leadership is key to Canada achieving its climate objectives. The Government of Canada will continue to engage with First Nations as partners in climate action as it implements measures under the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, and as Canada works toward a net-zero future.