Saturday, 10 February 2018 05:50

Phillips announces investment in indigenous climate initiatives

Written by  Demi Knight
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Shannon Phillips Minister of Environment and parks introduces the new project partnership and funsing to an engaged audience as the growing problem of Climate change continues to be tackled in new ways. Shannon Phillips Minister of Environment and parks introduces the new project partnership and funsing to an engaged audience as the growing problem of Climate change continues to be tackled in new ways. Demi Knight

With the growing issue of climate change constantly presenting itself across the world, the government of Alberta just made a big announcement to partner with indigenous organizations in an effort to boost education, research and planning.

On Feb. 2, Shannon Phillips, Alberta’s minister of Environment and Parks as well as the minister responsible for the climate change office, met with members of the Blood Tribe and Rockies Institute to make the big announcement of these new partnerships and funding to create the Building Climate Resilience and Adaptation with the Kainai First Nation Project.
“As a government, we understand that climate change affects communities differently,” said Phillips at a Feb. 2 news conference. “Indigenous peoples are at the forefront of the effects of climate change, and our government is proud to support projects that can improve resiliency in their communities.”
This project that the government aims to fund with their new climate initiative, includes the collaboration with both the Kainai First Nation and the Rockies Institute whom are a charitable organization that work to inspire innovative responses to climate change. With the help of this organization and a $230,000 grant, this new climate initiative will go towards helping support the Kainai First Nation in building resilience and an ability to adapt to this growing issue. The Kainai Project will also include working alongside of the Rockies institute to understand how the issue of climate change affects people within the Blackfoot confederacy as well as connecting the community with Blackfoot traditional knowledge and western science.
“Traditional knowledge and wisdom have to be woven into environmental knowledge when looking at the issue of climate change,” explained Phillips. “We know that bringing together western science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge brings us to better understand the world.”
This almost a quarter of a million-dollar grant will also go towards enabling Kainai first nation to provide climate education sessions and has already gone towards allowing them to hire Diandra Bruised Head as an internal climate change coordinator. 
“We are very happy to build on what we have started over a year ago thanks to investments from the Alberta Government,” said Chief of the Blood Tribe, Roy Fox. “This will help our community develop a much-needed climate adaptation plan as well as inspire youth and elders to reconnect in new way while learning about climate change.”
With plans for this to be a two-year project, the success and accomplishments may be hard to measure, however, Phillips did say that there are hopes for adaptation plans to form as well as creating a pathway forward on how to proceed with gaps in the energy industry as well as provide education prospects on the issue moving forward. That will involve the Rockies Institute.
“Another way to measure outcomes is that we are already starting to see community engagement, and people wanting to get involved,” added Laura Lynes, President of the Rockies Institute.
“A big outcome for us is that we want to bring the community together under the umbrella of climate change, as daunting of a task that it may seem to be.”
The Building Climate Resilience and Adaptation project in the Kainai First Nation is working to directly support the provincial governments efforts on climate change mitigation and an ability to adapt to and will go alongside existing initiatives to provide crucial insight for future policies and strategies on the ever-evolving issue that is climate change.
“I am so pleased part of these conversations can take place in our corner of the province and that we are leading the way on these crucial initiatives including climate change,” added Phillips during her presentation for announcing the new partnership project.

Read 415 times Last modified on Friday, 09 February 2018 10:53

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