Climate Change Debate Must Include Nishnawbe-Aski Nation

Derek Fox
Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox
Derek Fox
Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox

THUNDER BAY – “The boreal forest in NAN territory is one of the largest potential carbon sinks to mitigate global climate change but this legislation does not identify how these benefits will be allocated to NAN First Nations as Ontario moves towards a cap and trade economy,” said Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox. “NAN First Nations are the stewards of the land and our territory will be a key part of any efforts to address climate change. We are willing to work on global solutions but require a defined process to engage in a collaborative effort that respects Aboriginal and Treaty rights.”

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) and NAN First Nations must be fully engaged any approach to address climate change that affects NAN territory, explained Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox in a presentation on Bill 172 to the Standing Committee on General Government at Queen’s Park yesterday.

Introduced in February 2016, Bill 172 the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, does not guarantee that First Nation traditional ecological knowledge will be incorporated and does not specify a formal process for direct involvement or benefits by NAN First Nations.

Fox outlined how Ontario must provide NAN and NAN First Nations with permanent methods and processes, including sufficient resources and core funding, to work collaboratively on climate change including:

  • a defined processes for direct input into climate change legislation and programs;
  • guaranteed funding to gather traditional knowledge and technical and economic assessments of the impacts of climate change on NAN territory and its people;
  • management of resources and benefits attributable to the boreal forest and land within NAN territory; and
  • a commitment to work co-operatively to effectively manage the impacts of climate change on NAN First Nations and its people.
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