Canada’s Partnership with Indigenous Peoples on Climate

Funding for Indigenous Peoples

Find federal programs to help fund climate action projects in Indigenous communities.

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Supporting Indigenous climate leadership

First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples have been at the forefront of the impacts of climate change. Many Indigenous leaders have reinforced the need to take action to reduce pollution, to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and to improve the ways in which the natural environment is respected and protected. In doing so, Indigenous leadership and knowledge is critical to achieving the foundational changes required to address climate change.

To help support Indigenous peoples advance their climate priorities and adapt to the changing climate, the Government of Canada is committed to renewed nation-to-nation, Inuit-to-Crown and government-to-government relationships with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership. The Government of Canada also supports without qualification the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including free, prior and informed consent. Supporting self-determined climate action is critical to advancing Canada’s reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Canada’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, builds on the foundational principles of Indigenous climate leadership, including:

Since the launch of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, the Government of Canada provided over $900 million in investments to support Indigenous-led projects on adaptation planning, food security, clean energy, health, infrastructure, climate monitoring, and more.

Climate action funding for Indigenous Peoples

The Government of Canada announced more than $1.3 billion in climate action funding targeted to Indigenous peoples through Canada’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, and additional investments through Budget 2021. This includes measures to:

Distinctions-based senior bilateral tables on clean growth and climate change

In 2016, the federal government committed to strengthening its collaboration with Indigenous Peoples as partners in climate action. Following joint commitments made by the Prime Minister and the National Leaders of the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis National Council, the federal government established three distinctions-based senior bilateral tables. These tables are based on the recognition of rights, co-operation, and partnership. They help foster a collaborative approach to ongoing engagement with Indigenous Peoples, and help support Indigenous climate leadership.

Additional information on the creation of the Senior Bilateral Tables on Clean Growth and Climate Change can be found on the Process Document for Ongoing Engagement on the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

First Nations-Canada partnership

The First Nations-Canada Joint Committee on Climate Action (JCCA) was established in fall 2017. Since then, Assembly of First Nations representatives from across Canada and federal officials from various departments meet to discuss climate change priorities and collaborate on climate policy. The JCCA continues to explore opportunities for First Nations to meaningfully participate in the transition to a clean growth economy as climate leaders.

In August 2021, the 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 report highlights the Joint Committee’s work in 2020 across five key areas:

Inuit-Canada partnership

The Inuit-Canada Table on Clean Growth and Climate Change was created in 2017 to provide a forum for representatives from Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Regional Land Claims Organizations and federal officials from various departments to discuss and advance joint climate priorities. Since then, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami has shifted its focus to the National Inuit Climate Change Strategy (NICCS) that advances Inuit-determined actions to strengthen the sustainability and resilience of Inuit Nunangat in the face of a rapidly changing climate and landscape.

To support Inuit knowledge and leadership for successful climate action, the Government of Canada provided $1 million in summer 2019 to implement the NICCS. This support will help advance Inuit-led activities and initiatives under the following NICCS priority areas:

Métis-Canada partnership

Since 2017, the Métis Nation-Canada Joint Table on Clean Growth and Climate Change members have built relationships and shared information on joint policy development, and identified Métis-specific considerations for designing federal programs and delivering funding.

Federal departments are working with the Métis Nation to adjust programs and policies under Canada’s climate plan. This includes advancing Métis climate change and related health priorities, and shaping community-based climate monitoring initiatives. In 2020, the Métis Nation identified the following priorities to advance Métis Nation climate leadership:

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