Photograph by David Luggi, Shovel Lake Wildfire, BC, 2018
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The climate emergency endangers the security and way of life of Indigenous peoples throughout British Columbia and the world. The effects of the warming climate, 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 United Nations 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 UBCIC Chiefs Council and BCAFN Chiefs-in-Assembly have passed resolutions mandating that the First Nations Leadership Council 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”.
image from: www.nrcan.gc.ca/climate-change/canadas-green-future/clean-growth-programs/20254