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Climate Science 2050 (CS2050), a report released in 2020 by Environment and Climate Change Canada provides diverse perspectives on climate science, including Indigenous perspectives, and offers future directions for climate change research in Canada. The report recognizes the impact of “western scientific research practices and colonial policies” on the marginalization of Indigenous perspectives in climate change research and encourages researchers to rectify this historical practice. Guiding principles for CS2050 include Indigenous self-determination and recognition that Indigenous knowledge must ‘coexist’ alongside western science rather than to be subsumed by it. In addition, “collaboration across generations, disciplines, sectors, orders of government, organizations and regions” is highlighted. Examples from Indigenous-led climate change projects are offered throughout the report. At times, the report comes across as geared to a primarily non-Indigenous western audience intending to, or already working with, Indigenous communities. This is especially evident in statements about “supporting capacity building” within Indigenous communities rather than warning against engaging in extractive forms of scientific research. There is a missed opportunity to critique capacity-building approaches often imposed upon Indigenous communities, and to answer the question: capacity for whom, by whom? The report succeeds when it spotlights the climate change priorities of First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities, and the benefits of co-developing research with Indigenous research partners. Readers are encouraged to direct their attention toward supporting, if not funding, Indigenous-led knowledge creation and climate science that contributes to promoting the resilience of future generations.

By Leela Viswanathan

(Image Credit: Michael Hoyt, Unsplash)

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), with the support of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), are looking for comments and ideas regarding current and future freshwater management challenges in Canada and the role that a new Canada Water Agency could play in maintaining Canada’s freshwater sources. The Canada Water Agency would “work together with the provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, local authorities, scientists and others to find the best ways to keep our water safe, clean and well-managed.”

The groups of focus for the consultation period include non-governmental organizations, including watershed organizations, academic institutions, municipalities, industry stakeholders, Indigenous peoples, and youth.

Consultation is being conducted through PlaceSpeak, an online engagement platform. Individuals can provide feedback via a discussion page on PlaceSpeak or they can contact ECCC directly at ec.water-eau.ec@canada.ca. Through PlaceSpeak ECCC also plans on posting detailed discussion aids and specific questions in the future to gain a sense of direction Canadians would like to see the Canada Water Agency take. The link for the PlaceSpeak page can be found here: http://www.placespeak.com/CanadaWaterAgency.

This project is open from comments from May 13, 2020 – May 31, 2021.

Events

General Information on STREAM Webinar Series

The purpose of this four-part webinar series hosted by Living Lakes Canada is to introduce the STREAM (Sequencing The Rivers for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring) project to anyone interested in community-based water monitoring.

Guest presenters will include representatives from University of Guelph, WWF-Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and participating water monitoring groups and First Nations. Recordings of the webinars will be made available on our website.

Webinar – Indigenous-led STREAM Projects

Thursday, May 27 10am-11am PT/11am-12pm MT/1pm-2pm ET

  • This webinar will feature Indigenous-led, community-based water monitoring programs.
  • The Dane nan yḗ dāh (Kaska Land Guardian) program participated in the STREAM pilot project in 2018 and now work in collaboration with the Province to monitor CABIN sites. The project builds upon the existing Dene Nan Yedah environmental monitoring program to include water quality and benthic invertebrate monitoring, ensuring that there is sufficient baseline data to inform future development decisions. At the same time, this collaboration will further the efforts to create a network of Guardians programs (Tanya Ball).
  • The Blueberry River First Nations took CABIN/STREAM training in 2019 and are continuing to build out their monitoring programs to achieve their goal of reciprocal restoration, to rehabilitate degraded ecosystems while promoting cultural revitalization (Mae Whyte).
  • The Environmental Stewardship Initiative (ESI) is a collaboration between the Province and First Nations in northern BC. The goals of ESI are to develop a new collaborative approach to generating high quality, accessible and trusted environmental information. The scope of ESI includes four key areas: 1) ecosystem assessment and monitoring; 2) ecosystem restoration and enhancement; 3) ecosystem research and knowledge exchange; 4) stewardship education and training. Five Nations of ESI, including Witset First Nation, Office of the Wet’suwet’en,, Gitxsan, Gitanyow and Lake Babine Nation have participated in the STREAM project to better understand trends in aquatic biodiversity related to climate change, and impacts of land and water use on aquatic ecosystems over time. This is especially important to these First Nations given their reliance on salmon as a key food source (Dallas Nikal).

To learn more, or to register, visit Webinar Registration page – https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_rf0A914CRh6u4YaIfm9M_A.

If you have any questions about the STREAM Webinar Series or the STREAM program, please contact Living Lakes Canada STREAM Program Manager Raegan Mallinson at: raegan@livinglakescanada.ca

(Information Source: Living Lakes Canada website)

General STREAM Webinar Series Information

The purpose of this four-part webinar series hosted by Living Lakes Canada is to introduce the STREAM (Sequencing The Rivers for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring) project to anyone interested in community-based water monitoring.

Guest presenters will include representatives from University of Guelph, WWF-Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and participating water monitoring groups and First Nations. Recordings of the webinars will be made available on our website.

Webinar – STREAM Users – Featured Case Studies

Thursday, April 29 10am-11am PT/11am-12pm MT/1pm-2pm ET

  • This webinar will provide case study examples of participants in the STREAM project that are utilizing the CABIN methods in a local context on the west and east slopes of the Rocky Mountains.
  • The Elk River Alliance has been using CABIN since 2012 to inform restoration efforts and identify Elk River tributaries impacted by land-use activities, including mining, logging and residential development. In 2020 ERA trialled STREAM protocols to better understand habitat health. ERA is working to collaborate with industry groups to develop data-sharing agreements and centralize monitoring efforts to better understand and sustainably manage the Elk River watershed (Kaileigh McCallum).
  • The Oldman Watershed Council has been a STREAM participant since Year 1 of the project and will share their restoration monitoring efforts in their headwaters on the Eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies, where they have been restoring stream banks together with partners and volunteers (Sofie Forsstrom).
  • The Ghost Watershed Alliance Society (GWAS) will share about how they’re using the STREAM project to fulfill the Ghost Watershed State of the Watershed Report recommendations while addressing concerns due to increased land use practices, specifically sedimentation and how the project is assisting GWAS with identifying priority sites for future restoration efforts (Cal Hill).
  • This webinar will also feature how the STREAM project is being applied in a wetland context (Darcie Quamme).

To learn more or to register, visit Webinar Registration page: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_oQgsLpjGR1KX1o1b22dMog.

(Information Source: Living Lakes Canada website)

General Description of STREAM Webinar Series

The purpose of this four-part webinar series hosted by Living Lakes Canada is to introduce the STREAM (Sequencing The Rivers for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring) project to anyone interested in community-based water monitoring.

Guest presenters will include representatives from University of Guelph, WWF-Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and participating water monitoring groups and First Nations. Recordings of the webinars will be made available on our website.

Webinar – Introduction to CABIN

Thursday, April 8 10am-11am PT/11am-12pm MT/1pm-2pm ET

  • The goal of this webinar is to contextualize the CABIN (Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network) methods and network developed by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) as the foundation for STREAM. THIS WEBINAR WILL NOT BE A REPLACEMENT FOR TRAINING but will provide participants with a general overview of biomonitoring, the Reference Condition Approach and the CABIN online tools (Emily McIvor).
  • This webinar will feature how CABIN is being related to sites in B.C., RCA models and how traditional CABIN analysis is used in B.C. (Jolene Raggett).

To learn more or register for the webinar, visit the Webinar Registration page – https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_rSFjHLwbTjyJu3D7PClCnA.

(Information source: Living Lakes Canada website)