Joint Committee on Climate Action Annual Report highlights First Nations leadership in addressing climate change

News release

August 13, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

First Nations peoples are not only at the forefront of the impacts of climate change, but also possess knowledge and unique insights into addressing and adapting to climate change. First Nations leaders, organizations, and communities have reinforced the need for Canada to take an ambitious and holistic approach to reducing carbon pollution, adapting to the impacts of climate change, and improving the ways in which the natural environment is respected and protected. For the Government of Canada, supporting self-determined climate action is critical for all Canadians and will help to advance this country’s reconciliation with First Nations.

Today, the First Nations-Canada Joint Committee on Climate Action (JCCA) released its third annual report to the Prime Minister and the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. The JCCA’s annual report documents the positive steps taken towards reconciliation and forging a stronger climate partnership in 2020. This year’s report highlights the Joint Committee’s work in five key areas:

  • Ensuring First Nations’ full and effective participation in federal clean growth and climate change programs.
  • Empowering First Nations leadership in emerging opportunities for climate action.
  • Enabling the meaningful participation of First Nations in the carbon pollution pricing system.
  • Developing First Nations–specific indicators and criteria to report on the implementation of climate-related federal funding programs and outcomes for First Nations.
  • Fostering intergenerational dialogue on climate change.
Currently, the JCCA is focused on improving access to federal programs, while reflecting First Nations’ climate priorities and promoting self-determination for First Nations in emerging clean‑growth opportunities. The Government of Canada will continue to work in partnership with First Nations to address their unique circumstances and support them with the tools they need to respond to a changing climate.  

Quotes

“The federal government is committed to joint climate action that is informed by First Nations and grounded in partnership and meaningful recognition of First Nations’ governance, rights, leadership, and Indigenous Knowledge. This is essential in the implementation of Canada’s recently announced strengthened climate plan in a way that advances First Nations’ climate priorities.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“First Nations are on the front lines of climate change and have been the first responders to the global climate emergency. Right now, many First Nations in BC and northwestern Ontario have been evacuated or are on alert as a result of wildfires. First Nations have the traditional knowledge, expertise, traditional practices, and lived experience to protect Mother Earth and their voices must be heard and acted upon. Direct and meaningful involvement of First Nations rights and title holders is essential to any discussion on climate change, and I look forward to the implementation of the important findings in this report and the continued efforts of this joint committee.”
– RoseAnne Archibald, National Chief, Assembly of First Nations

Quick facts

  • The JCCA follows Assembly of First Nations resolution 22/2017. It was established in 2016 by the Prime Minister and the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. It focuses on climate change and clean growth, and is based on the recognition of rights, co-operation, and partnership.

  • The JCCA seeks to promote First Nations’ full and effective participation in federal climate action. It serves as a unique forum where First Nations representatives and federal officials come together to discuss climate change priorities and collaborate on climate policy.

  • The JCCA’s mandate does not replace or alleviate the Crown of its duty to consult First Nations rights holders at the local, regional, and national level on climate change issues.

  • The JCCA’s work includes identifying barriers to First Nations’ participation in decision‑making and access to climate-change programs, and identifying ways to advance First Nations’ self-determination in climate action.

  • The JCCA is made up of First Nations representatives from all regions in Canada, representatives of the Assembly of First Nations, and Government of Canada officials from numerous federal departments, including Environment and Climate Change Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Indigenous Services Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and Infrastructure Canada.

Associated links

Contacts

Joanna Sivasankaran
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-790-1907
joanna.sivasankaran@ec.gc.ca

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
media@ec.gc.ca

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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