Health Canada released the Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action report in February 2022. Drawing connections between climate change and health, the report explores, in detail, seven key risks of climate change affecting the health of Canadians. Chapter 2 focuses on the impact of these climate change risks on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.
The seven risks of climate change affecting the health of Indigenous peoples, as examined in the report, are:
- Natural hazards
- Mental health and well-being
- Air quality
- Food safety and security
- Water quality, safety, and security
- Infectious diseases
- Health systems
When examining each risk, the report also provides examples of how Indigenous communities are addressing these risks through their communities’ own planning and climate mitigation efforts. In the coming months, the Indigenous Climate Hub Blog will draw from the report and explore each of these risks for their impacts on the health of Indigenous peoples.
According to the report, the limitations to the data, and therefore the prevalence of uncertainty regarding the connections between climate change and health, are associated with the “amount of existing evidence,” and the quality of that evidence. The intention of the Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate (2022) report is to facilitate the development of more “integrated knowledge” to enable federal, provincial, and local governments to “prepare for climate change.” How Indigenous governments benefit from this report will be worth considering as well.
By Leela Viswanathan
(Image credit: Biegun Wschodni, Unsplash)