In December 2015 world leaders met in Paris at the the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 and signed the historic Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement includes the recognition of Indigenous peoples in the preamble text and traditional Indigenous knowledge within the operative text. This is significant and highlights the tireless work of Indigenous rights activists and advocates that have been pushing for recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples worldwide.
UNDERSTANDING INDIGENOUS RIGHTS & CLIMATE CHANGE
As the global community is working to find answers to address global climate change, now more than ever Indigenous communities need to demand our rights, title, lands, territories, culture and identities be protected and included in any solutions. We must equip our communities with the right tools, education and assets to ensure Indigenous knowledge is driving climate solutions that work for everyone.
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS INTERNATIONALLY AFFIRMED
The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted by the General Assembly on Thursday, 13 September 2007, by a majority of 144 states in favour, 4 votes against and 11 abstentions. At the time Canada was one of the countries that voted against the Declaration. However, on November 12, 2010, Canada announced that it had advised the President of the United Nations General Assembly that it was endorsing the UNDRIP.
INDIGENOUS WORLDVIEW CLIMATE CHANGE TOOLKIT
Climate change is a major issue for Indigenous Communities, as it has wide-ranging impacts on their territories, rights and way of life. However, the particular context of Indigenous Rights and impacts – in terms of governance, economy, infrastructure, activities related to the territory, etc. – means that most solutions developed for non-Indigenous communities don't always address deeper understanding and connection to land. In fact, many Indigenous communities are already engaged in important climate change mitigation strategies rooted in Indigenous knowledge and customary practices.
The ICA Indigenous Worldview Climate Change toolkit will explore how Indigenous knowledge plays and important roles in providing critical solutions for climate change and the strength of Indigenous rights in ushering in a new ear of sustainability.
INDIGENOUS RIGHTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Indigenous Peoples hold unique rights as defined by Treaty agreements and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. These rights have the potential to allow our communities to challenge existing policies, laws, and legislation in Canada.
This paper from Western Journal of Legal Studies explores potential legal avenues for Indigenous peoples in Canada.
INDIGENOUS DECLARATIONS & MORATORIUMS ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Many Indigenous communities are already taking action to develop frameworks and positions with local, national and international governments to assert their inherent, treaty and internationally recognized rights.
The following is a short list of some of the notable declarations taken by Indigenous communities. If you would like your declaration included here please contact us.