Quebec – Environmental Update – The Government of Québec has pledged its support to the leadership of First Nations and Inuit in their climate transition efforts. In a significant move, Benoit Charette, the Minister of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks, and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region, announced a total of $10 million in financial assistance to Indigenous communities. The funding aims to enable them to implement community-based projects to combat the impacts of climate change and contribute to climate change mitigation.
The allocation of $10 million comes in response to the expressed needs during Indigenous consultations for the development of the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy. It also seeks to bolster local and regional initiatives, as well as existing programs dedicated to tackling climate change challenges. The Québec government has detailed the distribution of funds as follows:
- First Nations of Québec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute: An allocation of $6.3 million will be provided during fiscal years 2022-2023 to 2025-2026. This funding will support First Nations community projects and provide assistance throughout the development and implementation phases.
- Kativik Regional Government: The government will contribute $3.5 million during fiscal years 2022-2023 to 2025-2026. This financial support aims to aid community projects in Nunavik and facilitate the appointment of a liaison officer.
- Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach: A sum of $210,000 will be granted to the Naskapi Nation to develop a comprehensive climate plan. The plan will enable the Naskapis to assess climate risks and identify appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures.
The Québec government’s investment in Indigenous climate initiatives also seeks to strengthen the communities’ capacities and expertise in confronting climate change. The support is expected to improve the overall quality of life and contribute to the sustainable development of Indigenous communities.
The recent announcements are part of the “Supporting Indigenous Communities to Take Action on Climate Change” initiative, which is a significant component of the broader 2030 Plan for a Green Economy. The initiative has a budget of $23.5 million spread over five years, signifying the government’s commitment to promoting sustainable practices within Indigenous communities.
In light of these developments, the government is preparing a similar project in collaboration with the Cree Nation Government, with further details to be revealed at a later date.
Several key figures have shared their thoughts on this crucial initiative:
“Québec’s First Nations and Inuit are engaged and mobilized in the fight against climate change. The conclusion of these agreements will enable them to accelerate their climate transition and thereby help achieve the climate objectives of Québec as a whole,” stated Minister Benoit Charette.
Indigenous communities have long been affected by the impacts of climate change. Ian Lafrenière, Minister Responsible for Relations with the First Nations and Inuit, expressed hope that the $10 million in funding will support their efforts to adapt and preserve their traditional practices that are intricately tied to their health, way of life, and overall well-being.
Alain Bédard, Director of the First Nations of Québec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute, welcomed the long-awaited support, noting that it is specific to First Nations and represents a step in the right direction towards bolstering climate change initiatives across communities.
Hilda Snowball, Chairperson of the Kativik Regional Government, highlighted the immense impact of climate change on the daily lives of Nunavik Inuit, emphasizing the urgent need to develop and implement solutions to address these challenges.
Theresa Chemaganish, Chief of the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach, stressed the critical nature of the agreement in supporting community-based climate transition initiatives, empowering the Naskapi Nation to plan for a more resilient future.
The Government of Québec’s commitment to Indigenous climate action sends a powerful message of solidarity and cooperation, setting the stage for sustainable development and resilience in Indigenous communities.