Description: Glacier ice is nature’s savings account for water; but with disappearing glaciers, in conjunction with a warmer future, its availability will fundamentally change. Learn more about the state of water in the Columbia Basin in this presentation about the Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Framework, an innovative program that supports Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and decision makers in understanding water quantity. Some people predict that our next wars will be around water. It’s that important.

Presenters include:

Nicole Trigg, Communications Director, Living Lakes Canada
Carol Luttmer, Columbia Basin Groundwater Monitoring Program Manager, Living Lakes Canada

Join Wildsight on September 27th, 2022 from 7-8 PM for an evening exploring our watershed and the monitoring framework

Date and Time: Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 7:00pm

Location: Radium Hot Springs Centre

Address: 4863 Stanley St., Radium Hot Springs, BC, V0A 1M0

Visit Wildsight event page for more details or to register –

Information from Environmental Change and Security Program (Wilson Center):

The risks posed by climate change, and in particular climate’s impact on marginalized communities, have further exposed the linkages between climate change, environmental degradation, racism, and social injustice. Often missing from conversations focused on these injustices, however, is an awareness of the agency and knowledge that Indigenous communities bring to climate response. As the global community ramps up efforts to address climate change, incorporating Indigenous knowledge into those efforts could serve to inform scientific best practices for climate resilience and boost multi-stakeholder engagement at local, regional, and national levels.

How can Indigenous knowledge help shape efforts to address climate change? What kinds of partnerships can ensure that Indigenous knowledge is incorporated into decision-making at various levels (i.e., from the local to national and international)? Join us for a discussion with leaders who are working to incorporate Indigenous knowledge into climate decision-making.

Follow the conversation on Twitter @NewSecurityBeat. Find related coverage of these issues on blog,



Lauren Herzer Risi

Director, Environmental Change and Security Program


Kat Brigham

Chair, Board of Trustees, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

Sinéia do Vale

Environmental Manager & Coordinator of the Environmental Management Department, Indigenous Council of Roraima, Brazil

Dalee Sambo Dorough, PhD

Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Council


To register for the event, visit event web page.


Information source: Environmental Change and Security Program, Wilson Center.


Virtual Event Information from ArcticNet:

Hosted entirely online December 6 – 10, 2021, the ArcticNet Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting 2021 (ASM2021) is a hub for Arctic research in Canada. The ASM2021 brings together researchers from the natural, health, and social sciences to meet the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing Arctic region, shaped by climate change and modernization. This conference will push the boundaries of our collective understanding of the Arctic and strengthen our ability to address the Arctic issues of today and tomorrow.

We need interdisciplinary, pan-Arctic, and pan-northern cooperation and knowledge sharing to meet the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing Arctic and Northern region shaped by climate change and modernization. As a hub for Arctic research in Canada, the ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) brings together a broad range of research in and about the Arctic and northern regions of Canada and the world. The ASM advances our collective understanding of the Arctic and North, with an inclusive view of the Arctic spanning from Inuit Nunangat, across the Canadian territories, circumpolar Arctic regions, and more.

To learn more or to register for ASM2021, visit the ArcticNet event page.


Information source:

Image Credit: ArcticNet



Change is constant. We know this, but just how aware of change are we? If I asked you whether the moon was waxing or waning and at what time and where you would see it in your sky tonight, would you be able to answer without asking Google? The moon is a constant reminder of change. Each month, Moon guides us through a cycle of death and rebirth; she guides the oceans’ tides to ebb and flow and encourages our own inner waters to pause and stir. If we are unable to feel Moon, to notice her moods and offerings, then what else are we missing?

How attuned are we with the mice, the frogs, and the birds? Do we notice the native hare turning white in the way that we notice the leaves changing colour? Do we notice the shift from hearing singing robins to cawing blue jays? How often do we notice that the frogs have stopped serenading us and leaping about? These are ways that nature reminds us that change is constant. Yet, we seldom pause long enough to be with nature, let alone to pay attention to the implications of nature’s signals and reminders.

To me, understanding climate change is about reconnecting with ourselves. When I am in a constant state of doing, I disconnect from the earth. I run myself ragged with a constant state of busyness which begins to deplete my energy reserves. As my energy tank hits empty, I begin to push and berate myself for my lack of productivity. I begin to put eating and sleeping on the low-priority list, which perpetuates a cycle of distress, and leaves my body wide open for dis-ease.

The more dis-ease I feel, the poorer my choices become. I turn up less than a friend, a mother, a partner, and a community leader, and I become unavailable as a steward of the earth. When I lose my relationship with Earth, I lose my ability to heal. Healing with the earth is a relationship that requires presence—mine and Earth’s. When I am sick, so too are the plants and animals in my care. When I am well, I am supported by Earth’s rhythms and healing gifts.

Climate change, just like the moon’s cycles, is happening. You could debate whether climate change is a natural occurrence or man-made, but what you cannot deny, when you are one with the earth’s rhythms, is the feeling of a mother’s erratic heartbeat as she grieves, or the sight of seasonal changes in the plants and animals. And to see or feel these things, you must be present. Presence is impossible when you are in a constant state of motion. Presence requires slowing down and witnessing.

To find climate change is to learn the names of the 13 Moons, as spoken by Indigenous people in your area, and to witness the syrup run two weeks before its full moon or the blackberries ripen three weeks before their moon.

To find climate change is to notice, in your daily connection to the land, that the different black birds—crows, grackles, rusty blackbird, and redwing blackbird—have migrated 2 weeks earlier than usual.

To find climate change is to watch the frenetic pace at which mice and chipmunks forage, and the intensity of spiders eagerly trying to get indoors while it is still 30 degrees outdoors.

Change is constant, but if we have no awareness of what ‘constant’ even is—what it looks like and feels like—then we cannot possibly notice that it is change; therefore, making it easier to deny that we, as human beings, have any role in contributing to climate change or any need to help stop it. To be constantly unaware is like having a permission slip to ignore the aching heart of the earth. The price we pay is an aching in our own hearts. We are all connected, whether we want to be aware of the depth of our connection to each other or not. Where there are healthy people, there is a healthy natural environment. Regardless, the return to a healthy way of being must start with awareness—awareness of what is and what is not—and that can only happen when we reconnect to Earth’s rhythms of constant change.


By Tawny Stowe

(Photo Credit: Tawny Stowe)

Planning for climate change in Canadian municipalities can include different approaches undertaken by city governments to manage natural resources, land uses, transportation, infrastructure, and city services in order to mitigate, or adapt to, climate change. These approaches may also involve diverse members of the public in decision making processes.

An official plan (or general, community, or master plan), is a formal document that helps a city or community to outline a vision, and key objectives for various aspects of land use and development in their jurisdiction, and over a long period of time (sometimes 10 years or more). In Canada, cities of different sizes are required by provincial law to have an official plan, like in Ontario. Official plans can be amended from time to time too. In 2010, the City of Iqaluit (Nunavut) was the first municipality in Canada to incorporate climate change in its General Plan (see section 2.5). The extent to which municipalities include climate change goals in their official plans varies widely across Canada.

Some municipalities are seeking guidance to find innovative ways to address climate change through their official plans, and they have developed different kinds of partnerships to achieve their goals. For example, the Clean Air Partnership published a report based on their collaboration with approximately 30 municipalities in Ontario to seek ways to promote clean air initiatives and to address climate change through municipal official plans. In another example, the National Measures Report 2019, released by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), highlights how 400 municipalities, members of the FCM’s Partners for Climate Change Protection (PCP) program, developed 420 projects across Canada to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the local level. These are projects, rather than plans, that show how city-operated facilities and services, as well as local businesses, homes, and transportation, are all vital to reducing GHGs in the atmosphere.

The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP), working on behalf of planners across Canada, offers various informational resources on climate change and planning. The CIP’s Policy on Climate Change Planning, encourages professional planners to incorporate climate change-informed planning into all aspects of planning for cities and regions in order to meet an ethical obligation to the planet. However, among the barriers that prevent planners from incorporating climate change priorities into planning practice are the lack of political support and of up-to-date information, for decision making and forecasting.

The Climate Alliance, a network of 1,800 European municipalities – large and small, urban and rural – has developed a partnership with Indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin to address climate change at the global scale and to emphasise the importance of sustainable forestry worldwide. Since Canadian municipalities are located on Indigenous lands, municipalities might consider assessing how their climate change priorities could align with the climate change priorities of the Indigenous communities whose lands they occupy. Such an effort may highlight shared or divergent priorities in fighting climate change, and the potential for communities’ resilience to climate change effects.


By Leela Viswanathan

As young people and the young-at-heart go back to school this fall, it is good to revisit how Indigenous land-based learning is a way to take action on climate change. The impact of COVID-19 on society has also shed light on the importance of outdoor education.

According to a report inspired by the work of the Misipawistik Pimatisiméskanaw land-based learning program in Misipawistik Cree Nation, Manitoba, “Indigenous land-based learning typically uses an Indigenized and environmentally-focused approach to education by first recognizing the deep, physical, mental, and spiritual connection to the land that is a part of Indigenous cultures.” Indigenous land-based education teaches environmental stewardship. Simply put, Indigenous environmental stewardship reflects all the ways that Indigenous peoples honour Mother Earth, including practices of conservation and sustainability, as well as showing a responsibility for one another, as human beings.

Indigenous scholars at the University of Guelph in Southwestern Ontario have been working together with several community agencies, including the Global Youth Network, the Grand River Métis Council, and the White Owl Native Ancestry Association, to establish the Wisahkotewinowak teaching garden at the university’s arboretum. The garden is a space for youth to learn from Indigenous Elders about seasonal medicinal and edible plants. Wisahkotewinowak, is an Ojibway word that means “the growth of new shoots after a fire.” Youth are also involved in a project that involves the Niisaachwan Anishinaabe Nation and that combines learning about manomin (wild rice), an important food source for Anishinaabe people, with learning about changes to the land brought on by human settlement along the Winnipeg River. The Manomin/Wild Rice Project offers opportunities for land-based learning and intergenerational cooperation that also characterizes Indigenous food sovereignty projects.

In another example, children and youth ranging from kindergarten to grade 8 at the Biitigong Nishnaabeg Elementary School, just outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario, are benefitting from learning about traditional knowledge and skills, like manomin harvesting, from Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers. The pilot project is run in partnership with Lakehead University, and has led members of all ages of the Biitigong community to learn about the benefits of land-based learning. Land-based practices characterizing Anishinaabe pedagogies, including those among communities governed by the Grand Council of Treaty #3 territories, offer insight into cultural practices, and practices that maintain a strong sense of identity among diverse Anishinaabe peoples.

The benefits of Indigenous-led education, including land-based learning, are also formally recognized, at the international scale, by the UNESCO. According to section B19 of the UNESCO Policy on Engaging with Indigenous Peoples, “effectively including indigenous peoples’ knowledge, holistic worldviews and cultures in the development of education policies, programmes, projects and practices and promoting their perspectives, would provide meaningful learning opportunities that are equally available, accessible, acceptable and appropriate for all indigenous peoples.”

There is an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, and for their respective governments, to consider linking both educational policies and diverse practices that support Indigenous land-based education with climate change action.


By Leela Viswanathan

Integrating Nature in Adapting to a Changing Climate

Annual Conference of the New Brunswick Climate Change Adaptation Collaborative, in partnership with the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies

Nature-based solutions to climate impacts are cutting edge ways to adapt to climate change. Keys to understanding these approaches include not only the technical aspects, but the financial implications as well as the relationships between stakeholders in infrastructure maintenance and adaptation.

If you are interested in exploring nature-based approaches and how best to present these options, this is the conference for you — the municipal planners, building contractors, developers, engineers and NGOs working on climate adaptation.


  • Keynote Speaker: Deborah Harford, ACT Simon Fraser University, expert on effective adaptation strategies at all levels of government
  • How project leaders are using nature-based approaches
  • The economic case for moving towards nature-based approaches
  • Overcoming obstacles to adapting with nature from several perspectives
  • Making nature more effective in adapting to climate change
  • Working together to build resilient, greener communities

For more information, including agenda and registration, click here.

(Information from New Brunswick Environment Network website).

Presenter: Dr. Brent Doberstein, University of Waterloo

Support: Michael Barnard and Dr. Patrick Saunders-Hastings, Gevity Consulting Inc.

Abstract: Dr. Doberstein will be presenting findings from an environmental scan and current state analysis of planned retreat in Canada and relevant international contexts, prepared for Natural Resources Canada. The team conducted a comprehensive review of planned retreat in the broader context of climate change adaptation processes, teasing out key themes related to triggers, sources of resistance, barriers and enablers of retreat. Analyses informed the development of a set of good practices. Drawing on three case studies of planned retreat discussions and programs from Surrey, BC; Lake Erie, ON; and Gatineau, QC, Dr. Doberstein will discuss key lessons learned and good practices for future consideration and application.

Click here to view Poster.

Beginning in October of 2018, two members of the Gift Lake Métis Settlement began training as Environmental Monitors through a partnership between the Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program and the Gift Lake Métis Settlement. Gift Lake is a small Métis community located roughly 400 km northwest of Edmonton, Alberta and sits in the heart of the boreal forest. It is surrounded by rich vegetation, forests and many water bodies left behind by ancient glacial meltdown. Once the Gift Lake Environmental Guardianship Program began, we focused on the primary concerns of the people within the community. This started with one-on-one interaction with elders through interviews and surveys filled with questions relating to the similarities and changes in the environment and climate of Gift Lake over the years. Through this communication it was clear what our goals would be: educating ourselves and the community, while maintaining a balance between a scientific approach to research and a sense of community through human interaction and methodology.

An elder in the community said, “nothing connects us more to our culture than the land.” She was right. Indigenous people have had a very close tie to the environment for millennia. Now we can tie culture, science and education to protect our culture through the protection of our invaluable environment. We immediately enrolled in Environmental Education programs and soon we were out in the field daily. Our efforts were split into 6 categories: air, weather, water, vegetation, traditional plants and wildlife while making sure to continually have an active presence and relationship with the community. Weather monitoring stations were installed on the north and south ends of the community and the data is collected daily in the effort to fill a data gap that has existed in the area until now. A water monitoring project was initiated through field level testing. Our main goal for the water monitoring efforts is to note any major or alarming trends that could affect quality of the water which would affect the quality of life for all living things. From our tests, three initiatives were born: bridge building for ATV stream crossings, ongoing lake sweeps for abandoned nets and waste, and the continual monitoring of the water levels in our three largest lakes.

On top of taking a scientific initiative to learn about the land and climate, we also wanted to bring awareness to the community. We have taken the opportunity to be part of land-based learning activities at the K-9 school through facilitating workshops on topics including dendrochronology, climate change, drone flying, rabbit snaring, traditional herbs and even gun safety. A High School in High Prairie, Alberta also invited us to speak to students and introduce the prospect of being employed in the environmental field. We would speak on issues regarding climate change and relate on a more personal level including our successes, struggles and overall experiences growing up in a small Indigenous community and moving into adulthood. In the spring of 2019 two high school students were hired as trainees and included in all our environmental, climate action and community engagement activities. We did this not only to teach, but to instill the importance of the environment by introducing them to the beauty of their surroundings and the amount of gratification and confidence that comes from protecting our lifeline. The youth have taken part in dendrochronology (tree aging), bridge building, water testing, weather monitoring, wildlife monitoring, well-site reclamation, tree planting, marking traditional herb GPS waypoints, facilitating a large cultural camp with 7 other communities and numerous community engagement events. They have also been given the opportunity to take part in community-based projects such as designing and building the community two new welcome signs, starting a community garden, building a children’s park and initiating a garbage clean-up with elementary school children; allowing them to play a mentorship role as well. Since returning to school both youths have contacted us expressing how much they loved the program and how they hope to come back next summer. This is the level of interest and environmental responsibility we wish to instill within the entire community.

The struggle to succeed does weigh heavy on us at times and we understand the differences in everyone’s views about climate change and environmental protection. We have seen failures, but they are over-shadowed by successes. Our environmental and climate change programs are only in their beginning stages and programs like this are extremely new to everyone around us. We welcome the challenge and treat our roles as a major responsibility to act as champions for the land. We believe there is only one possible way to achieve that: to be role models among the people.


Installation of north end weather monitor

Installation of north end weather monitor


Building ATV crossing on a fish bearing stream


Community garbage clean-up

Community garbage clean-up


Climate change workshop during Gift Lake Culture Camp

Climate change workshop during Gift Lake Culture Camp


Gift Lake Culture Camp

Gift Lake Culture Camp


Youth trainees on left after completing the construction of a small playground

Youth trainees on left after completing the construction of a small playground


Youth trainees after finding a 1950 Buick Riviera while marking waypoints on historical trails

Youth trainees after finding a 1950 Buick Riviera while marking waypoints on historical trails


Mentorship during reclamation project on abandoned well-site

Mentorship during reclamation project on abandoned well-site


Youth use an increment borer to find the age of a tree

Youth use an increment borer to find the age of a tree


Youth expresses his love for a 150-year-old tree

Youth expresses his love for a 150-year-old tree


Youth pulls abandoned gill net from Utikumasis Lake during lake sweep

Youth pulls abandoned gill net from Utikumasis Lake during lake sweep


Pre-school session on the importance of moose. Included making birch bark callers

Pre-school session on the importance of moose. Included making birch bark callers


Grade 3 and 4 nature walk. Session on the role of rabbits in the environment and traditional snaring activity

Grade 3 and 4 nature walk. Session on the role of rabbits in the environment and traditional snaring activity

Grade 3 and 4 nature walk with information session

Grade 3 and 4 nature walk with information session


High School presentation and information session

High School presentation and information session


One of two signs designed and installed by Gift Lake Youth

One of two signs designed and installed by Gift Lake Youth


New community garden

New community garden


Author: Gift Lake Métis Settlement

At Kanaka Bar, preparing for climate change is seen as an important milestone towards the achievement of community’s vision of self-sufficiency.  It is being incorporated in everything that is being done by the community on a day to day basis.  The Traditional Territory of Kanaka Bar is located 14 kilometers south of Lytton, B.C., in the Fraser Canyon. Water plays a critical role in the health of the community. Kanaka Bar has five watersheds: Kwoiek Creek, Morneylun Creek, Nekliptum Creek, Siwash Creek and Four Barrel Creek, all of which support traditional food sources, wildlife and agricultural activities, provide drinking water to the community and hydroelectric power to BC Hydro’s grid.

Over the recent years, many changes have been observed throughout the Traditional Territory. Community members have noticed that wildlife is moving away from the community and travelling further up-mountain, salmon numbers are decreasing and are swimming deeper in the Fraser River in search of cooler temperatures and vegetation growth is changing. As well, consistent rainfall has been replaced by long periods of dry weather and unpredictable storms. These local observations are consistent with scientific predictions of how climate change is likely to affect the region. Although drought has not yet affected the community’s water resources, there is substantial concern that they may be threatened as climate change impacts intensify.

In response to these concerning changes within their Territory, Kanaka Bar has undertaken a Community Vulnerability Assessment to better understand how their environment may continue to change, and how these changes may impact key community values and areas of concern.

Understanding Kanaka Bar’s concerns and priorities was the first step in the Vulnerability Assessment process. Together with environmental professionals from Urban Systems, community members gathered at engagement events to ask questions, and express their concerns about climate change and how it would impact community life and well-being.

After priorities were identified, current and future effects of climate change on these areas were studied. Some anticipated changes that emerged from this research were warmer temperatures year-round; less precipitation in the summer but more in the fall, winter, and spring; less snow; more frequent and intense storms events; changes in water resources; continued stress on the salmon population; changes in the availability of traditional foods; and increased risk of forest fire.

Understanding the ways in which Kanaka Bar was vulnerable to climate change has allowed the community to take meaningful steps towards reducing their risks and becoming more resilient by developing an adaptation strategy. Kanaka Bar’s Adaptation Strategy supports their goal of self-sufficiency while increasing their resilience. It maps out short and long term adaptation actions in six priority areas: Water Resources, Forest Fires, Traditional Foods, Access Roads, Supporting Self-Sufficiency and Youth and Community Engagement and Education. These actions range from installing weather monitoring stations in the community, to expanding food production initiatives, to hosting annual workshops on climate change. Together they represent a “Made at Kanaka, by Kanaka for Kanaka” adaption plan that will benefit the community in a holistic way that goes far beyond coping with climate change.

To learn more about Kanaka Bar and the great strides they’re making towards climate resilience and self-sufficiency, visit their website.

Figure 1Kanaka Youth at Morneylun Water Gauging Station


Author: Kanaka Bar


Nothing Found

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria