September 26, 2019
by Jordan Cryderman
This Friday, Sept. 27, 2019 Carrier Sekani Family Services is organizing a march to City Hall in order to raise awareness for climate change. The march is in recognition of the recent movement facilitated by Greta Thunberg, Fridays For Future. More youth across the globe are also raising awareness, such as First Nations youth Autumn Peltier. Our focus is not only globally, but locally, specifically for impacts felt by First Nations populations.
Although the output of Greenhouse Gases in First Nations communities is negligible, the effects of climate change will surely be felt in all aspects of Indigenous life: social, economical, and cultural.
David Suzuki mentions in the Straight “the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that climate change will disproportionately affect the poor and most vulnerable, who have contributed least to the problem” (2019).
Our First Nations communities are some of the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Our communities depend on the land and what it provides. As the condition of the land continues to worsen, so too does access to traditional foods and medicines.
Our connection to the land is vital to our identity. There already exists a fleeting sense of cultural identity for many citizens of CSFS member Nation communities as we continue to face losses of our language and culture. Losing our connection to the land would only further this loss. If our lands die, so too does our culture. And so do we.
No environment, no culture, no future.
With corporate interests often at the centerfold of politics, we need to voice our concerns to politicians if change is to be made, and the focus is shifted back to the people. “Technical and policy solutions to climate change are known. All that’s lacking is political will” (Suzuki, 2019).
Such technical solutions include the Resilience Centre at Stockholm University, which has outlined the Nine Planetary Boundaries: an outline of boundaries humans must remain within to reduce the damage to the planet. However, we are already well beyond some of these boundaries, including Biosphere Integrity and Biogeochemical flows, which are both in the “zone of uncertainty,” or high risk.
For example, the Biogeochemical flows (or nitrogen and phosphorus flows), is the transfer of chemicals, such as from fertilizers, into our ecosystems, affecting the waterways and oceans. Such conditions could be detrimental to the dwindling salmon runs of Northern British Columbia, which have sustained lives for thousands of years.
In order for our culture, our people, and our planet to survive, we need our concerns to be heard.
If you would like to participate, we will be gathering in the parking lot of our 987 4th Ave location at 11:30am, and marching to City Hall at 11:50am. We encourage participants to bring drums (and wear regalia if applicable). We will be supplying marching signs for those who wish to join us.
It is time for Indigenous voices to be heard.
Stockholm Resilience Centre (n.d.). Nine Planetary Boundaries. Retrieved from https://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/planetary-boundaries/planetary-boundaries/about-the-research/the-nine-planetary-boundaries.html.
Suzuki, D. (2019). Tackling climate change means purging privilege from politics. Retrieved from https://www.straight.com/news/1306336/david-suzuki-tackling-climate-change-means-purging-privilege-politics.
Last modified: Wednesday 27-Sep-17 04:14:39 PDT