climate change, water quality and quantity and first nations by housework


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									Impacts & Adaptations Climate Change Positions

The project…
• Over the past two years the Environmental Stewardship Unit at the Assembly of First Nations has conducted research on climate change impacts to water through NRCan’s Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations Program (CCIAP)

Project Focus:
• The research has identified key climate change impacts to water that will affect First Nations communities and adaptation strategies; • The AFN has been sharing this information with First Nation communities throughout the past year

Project Outcomes:
• Research report • Discussion paper • Presentations • Fact Sheets

This presentation will discuss:

• Unique climate change water impacts for First Nations • Possible adaptation strategies for First Nations • First Nations’ water rights

This research is unique because:
• It combines western scientific knowledge and traditional knowledge

• & it applies First Nations’ perspectives, considerations and interests to the possibilities of adapting water systems to climate change impacts

Canadian Context
• Canada NOT as water rich as people think • Information to support responsible decision-making on water issues is lacking for much of the country • There are many users vying for increasingly scarce water

First Nations Context
“If you do not respect water, there will come a day where you will have to drink bottled water sold for money”
(Calm Wind, 2006 in Lavalley, 2006: 14)

• Much of the treated drinking water is undrinkable in many communities • Climate change will further stress these situations Traditional knowledge will play a crucial role in solving drinking water challenges

Water Rights
• Water has been deemed a Human Right by the UN Committee on Economic, Social , Cultural Rights 2002 • First Nations have Aboriginal and Treaty Rights to water • Treaty 5 Nations have a legal claim to water.

Climate changes will have disproportionate effects on third world, disadvantaged, and indigenous populations

First Nations are already noticing the impacts of climate change…

Changes to Water Quality

“today, we hardly see any rains and things are different with the water.”
(Elder Tom Pelly of Cumberland House in Ermine et al., final: 17).

Changes to Ecosystems

Changes to Lifestyle and HumanWater Relationships
[people are] “increasingly insulated from past intimacy with the life-giving water…[by] plastic piping… [and] unknown water”

First Nation-specific Adaptations are Required
• Adaptation should focus on stewardship • Individuals, families, and communities will all be involved in adaptation strategies

Source Water Protection

education Habitat health

Stewardship of lands and waters

Novel Water and Wastewater Treatment Systems

Water plant at Yellow Quill First Nation, Saskatchewan

Testing for toxic cyanobacteria

Watershed Management Plans

• Community-level watershed protection plans

• Government-to-government watershed management partnerships
– between First Nations and Provincial & Federal governments

Additional Research is Required
• Innovative water and wastewater treatment technologies • Research to support water decisionmaking

Capacity support is required to support research and community-based projects


8: Environment Canada 2004

Thank You Miigwetch

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