The Climate Change Solutions Deployment Corporation - Indigenous Fit?

Posted by Larry Sault and Don Richardson

on Feb 23, 2017 12:32:52 PM

Will Ontario's new Climate Change Solutions Deployment Corporation help Indigenous communities?

Ontario created the Ontario Climate Change Solutions Deployment Corporation - CCSDC - on February 17, 2017 through a new regulation under the Development Corporations Act.  The CCSDC has a focus on low-income households in Ontario, however for First Nation and Métis communities, it's important to note that the new regulation forming the corporation does not mention Indigenous communities, or address the greenhouse gas reduction needs and related energy poverty realities of  Indigenous communities.  

The CCSDC does hold some promise for Indigenous communities in Ontario, but much will depend on how its Board of Directors will interpret its mandate and scope of work in relation to Indigenous community needs.


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Topics: Ontario Climate Action, Aboriginal Energy Projects, Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change

Indigenous Commercial Fisheries - the Next Reconciliation Revolution

Posted by Don Richardson

on Dec 3, 2016 11:27:08 PM



David Suzuki recently wrote an article titled Reconciliation Requires Recognizing Rights-Based Fishing.  It got us thinking about the range of recent work we've been doing with clients around Indigenous fisheries - everything from connecting Saugeen Ojibway Nation fisheries representatives  to Guelph's Neighbourhood Group of restaurants to explore supply-chain opportunities, to helping the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of PEI with regulatory comments on the review of the federal Fisheries Act, to working with the Qikiqtarjuaq ("Qik") community of Nunavut on its growing commercial fishery, to assisting Aroland First Nation and Matawa Four Rivers with efforts to protect endangered sturgeon habitat and spawning areas.

Suzuki really got us thinking about the connections between Reconciliation and fish, especially as we work with clients on restoring lost protections and introducing Indigenous safeguards to the Federal Fisheries Act.  Here are 5 key points that Suzuki makes, and our follow-on comments:

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Topics: Traditional Knowledge and Land Use Studies, Aboriginal Land and Water Stewards, Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change

Anwaatin "We are #StewardshipWarriors" #IndigenousOffsets Infographic

Posted by Don Richardson and Larry Sault

on Nov 12, 2016 9:04:21 AM



Our Indigenous partner firm, Anwaatin, is busy with innovative climate action.  Anwaatin's new Infographic tells the story of Stewardship Warriors who support the purchase of Indigenous Offsets, and how the sale of carbon offsets funds Anwaatin's work in Indigenous communities fighting climate change. 

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Topics: Carbon Offsets, Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change

Anwaatin Comments on Draft Ontario Climate Change Act - Bill 172 

Posted by Larry Sault

on Apr 12, 2016 4:33:23 PM

Our partner company, Anwaatin, recently submitted comments to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Regarding the draft of Bill 172 (the "Ontario Climate Change Act", know formally as the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016).  We reprint these comments here with permission.  Previous posts from Anwaatin authors include:



Anwaatin's Submission on Bill 172 (Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016)

In the face of climate change, Indigenous peoples in Ontario have emerged as Stewardship Warriors. Indigenous peoples must be front and centre in responding to and preventing the worst effects of climate change.

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Topics: Ontario Climate Action, Carbon Offsets, Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change

Call for an Indigenous Knowledge & Climate Change Centre of Excellence

Posted by Larry Sault

on Mar 2, 2016 8:21:14 PM

Elders speak of the wolverine as an animal of unparalled strength and cunning for its size, a trickster with great powers of healing and transformation.  Found in remote reaches of the Northern boreal forests and subarctic and alpine tundra across the Northern Hemisphere, wolverines are animals built for the cold: they are a species threatened by climate change. Warming temperatures are eliminating spring snow cover which females use to make springtime dens to provide warmth to newborn kits and protect them from predators. A few years ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed adding the Wolverine to the endangered species list, but  - which would have made it the first species to make the U.S. endangered species list due to climate change. However, the U.S. government denied endangered status despite there being just 300 wolverines in the lower 48 states. In Canada, the Wolverine Eastern population is listed as Endangered. In Ontario, the Wolverine is listed as ThreatenedA legend of the Wolverine as the Creator is attributed to the Innu: "Long ago, Kuekuatsheu [wolverine] built a big boat like Noah’s Ark, and put all the various animal species in it. There was a great deal of rain and the land was flooded. He told the mink to dive into the water to retrieve some mud and rocks, which he mixed together to make an island. This island is the world which we presently inhabit along with all the animals." 
Guest Blog Post by Larry Sault, "Stewardship Warrior" and CEO of Anwaatin
Leonardo DiCaprio took the stage at the 2016 Oscars on February 28th to draw attention to Indigenous peoples and Climate Change.  Three days later on March 2nd, 2016, First Nation, Inuit and Métis leaders met with Prime Minister Trudeau in Vancouver to address action on climate change.  During a December 17, 2015 interview with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, fresh from the Paris Climate Summit said:

“Indigenous People feel the impact of climate change more than anyone else,” and that“Indigenous people will be included in the federal government’s discussions with provinces on climate change and carbon-pricing.”

Across Canada, First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples are on the frontlines of climate change, experiencing dramatic shifts, including:
  • unstable and unsafe winter iceroads
  • higher food costs and food security challenges
  • species on the move making traditional hunting, trapping, fishing and harvesting much more challenging
  • lowland flooding
  • changing ice conditions and changing permafrost conditions
  • warming forests and peatlands becoming tinder boxes for vast new fire risks
  • carbon feedback loops where where hot and dry conditions in the north warm the forests and peatlands and unleash carbon and methane that has been trapped for thousands of years
  • invasive species, including insects that threaten forests and aquatic species that threaten fisheries
  • human resource issues for fielding first-responders to deal with with a range of natural and infrastructure emergencies, from forest fires to floods to oil spills during major climatic events
  • health care issues where medical care, medical supplies and food supplies get blocked by winter ice road availability or other climatic transportation threats
  • community wellbeing and mental health issues that result from so many uncertainties that come with climate change impacts - reliable sources of food, energy, transportation, health care, etc.

We are Stewardship Warriors

In the face of climate change, Indigenous peoples in Canada have emerged as Stewardship Warriors.

  • In the north, our people are the stewards of the boreal forest and the the massive Ontario peatlands that, according to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, store fully one-third of the carbon sequestered in Ontario
  • Across Canada our people are the first responders to deal with the dangers of forest fires and peatlands fires, and to deal with floods and other weather disasters
  • Across Canada, we are responsible for managing the integrity of the lands and waters in our traditional territories, but we have to deal with so many new climate change challenges - for example, the invasive species and insects that find new climate conditions nice, but destroy our forests and create new sources of dead trees for forest fires

It is abundantly clear that Indigenous people in Canada are on the frontlines of climate change. But what are we as Indigenous peoples to do?

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Topics: Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change