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Yukon First Nations sign climate change declaration

AFN Regional Climate Coordinator Emily McDougall (Left), AFN Regional Chief Kluane Adamek (Middle) and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Chief Dana Tizya Tram (Right) speaking to media. Photo by John Kennedy/CKRW

The first-ever Yukon First Nations Climate Action Gathering in Whitehorse has produced a climate change declaration aimed at setting the foundation for a first nations action plan.

A climate change declaration aimed at setting the foundation for a First Nation's action plan is the result of the first-ever Yukon First Nations Climate Action Gathering in Whitehorse.

The two-day gathering hosted by the Assembly of First Nations Yukon Region and the Council of Yukon First Nations saw panel presentations on the relationships between climate change and energy, governance, food security, as well as the revitalization of traditional trades and skills.

Regional Chief Kluane Adamek says The declaration provides a foundation for communities to work together toward the goal of combating climate change.

"We know that climate is being experienced in our communities more than anywhere else around the world and so when we're talking about being the first, certainly the leadership that we see from Yukon First Nations is always very pragmatic, always very solution-focused."

Adamek says First Nations in Yukon have and will experience the effects of climate change at a rate much faster than the rest of the country, and the time to act is now.

Vuntut Gwitchin Chief Dana Tizya Tram the gathering saw firm commitments to action on more than just climate change.

"It's a passing of the baton and an acknowledgement of the missing link between our elders and our youth. Some of the action items coming out of this declaration are seemingly, not necessarily directed towards climate change in the sense that you would see it regularly."

Tizya-Tramm says its crucial to be based culturally before any action can be taken towards climate change.

250 thousand dollars of financial support was provided for the gathering from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Climate Action Fund.

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