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Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Watersheds: How can we Identify and Address Gaps in First Nation Adaptation and Mitigation Efforts While Supporting and Promoting Existing Community-Based and Driven Climate Change Initiatives?

Authors: Rachel Arsenault*, York University
Topics: Indigenous Peoples
Keywords: climate change, biodiversity, Indigenous governance, water crisis, Indigenous Knowledge, Indigenous relations
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In the past few decades, climate change has brought Canadians severe weather patterns, worsening flooding and water contamination conditions, increases in forest fires, changes in animal migration patterns and plant habitats, and an increase in disease carrying insects and other pests normally found in more southern climates. First Nation communities in Canada, which are already impacted by water insecurity, food insecurity, internal capacity challenges, and limited access to health services, are more severely impacted by the different challenges surrounding climate change. Remote and isolated First Nation communities in coastal areas or on islands which are already struggling with community access are now struggling with frequent and severe flooding as well as a decrease in their ice road season. While considering these and other challenges, I will discuss how biodiversity, watersheds, and Indigenous peoples in Canada are impacted by climate change. I will also examine some of the commonalities found with climate change impacts to communities at the international level as well as discuss how global innovations and potential solutions can be used within Canada.

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