“This will help our community develop a much-needed climate adaptation plan as well as inspire youth and elders”

The Kainai First Nation will use a grant funded by Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan to work with The Rockies Institute to better understand climate change and how it affects indigenous peoples within the Blackfoot Confederacy, according to an Alberta government press release.

Alberta’s Indigenous communities have shown a keen interest in climate adaptation and research.  In 2015, Alberta’s Climate Leadership Advisory Panel held engagement sessions with 48 First Nations.

“We are very happy to be able to build on what we started over a year ago thanks to investments from the Alberta government. This will help our community develop a much-needed climate adaptation plan as well as inspire youth and elders to reconnect in new ways while learning about climate change. We look forward to this learning journey between Blackfoot traditional knowledge and western science,” said Roy Fox, chief, Blood Tribe.

The $230,000 grant will support the Building Climate Resilience and Adaptation in the Kainai First Nation project, which includes climate education sessions and opportunities for elders and youth to connect and learn about how climate change affects botany and food security.

“Indigenous peoples are at the forefront of the effects of climate change, and our government is proud to support projects that can improve resiliency in their communities. This funding will help Kainai First Nation plan for future climate impacts in a water-stressed region while informing government policy and ensuring respectful integration of traditional ecological knowledge,” said Environment Minister Shannon Phillips.

The funding has already allowed the Kainai First Nation to hire an internal climate change coordinator, Diandra Bruised Head, and will help The Rockies Institute design and deliver an adaptation plan that includes research and recommendations for adjusting to a changing environment.

“This journey is already emerging as a truly collaborative model that will deeply impact the tribe’s ability to adapt to climate change and to inspire others to begin journeys of their own toward a climate-safe future. The Alberta government’s support of the project highlights how local action can have global significance,” said Laura Lynes, president, The Rockies Institute.

The Building Climate Resilience and Adaptation in the Kainai First Nation project directly supports the provincial government’s efforts on climate change mitigation and adaptation, and will provide crucial insight for future policies and strategies that are more informed, compassionate and community-aware.

The Rockies Institute is a charitable organization that combines knowledge and best practices from around the world to inspire innovative responses to climate change.