The Climate Report 2017/18 - Page 14



Image source: kenben.org
C L IMATE C H A N GE A N D FIR S T
N AT I O N S I N N O R T H E R N O N TA R I O ,
C AN ADA
Within Canada, the effects of climate change range from province to province, from one extreme to another,
where you can find rising sea levels in one province and droughts in the other, as well as forest fires and
increasingly severe storm activity.
In the northern area of the Province of Ontario, the effects of climate change not only change weather patterns,
but affect the inhabitants’ way of life, economic activity, health conditions, and ecological makeup of the territory.
N I S H N AW B E A S K I N AT I O N
Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) represents 49
First Nation communities in the sub-arctic area
of Ontario with an estimated membership of
45,000, on and off-reserve. NAN encompasses
Treaty No. 9 and the Ontario portion of Treaty
No. 5. The people speak four languages:
Ojibwe, Cree, Oji-Cree and Algonquin.
NAN territory encompasses a land mass of
210,000 square miles, or two-thirds of the
area of Ontario, and includes one of the
world’s largest carbon sinks. These vast
expanses of undisturbed boreal forest and
peatland is home to the people of Nishnawbe
Aski.
Climate change has serious implications for NAN First Nations
and is of great concern to its members. Climate change
threatens the sustainability of communities in terms of
livelihood, economic activity, health, energy, recreation and
food security. In the Far North, communities are threatened by
seasonal flooding and high rates of erosion.
Communities like Kashechewan First Nation are routinely
evacuated due to seasonal flooding and forest fires, displacing
their residents to municipalities hundred of kilometres away.
The people still practice food gathering, and trapping and
hunting wild game. Yet, with the changing climate, invasive
species are bringing diseases to humans and the environment.
These ecological impacts continue to result in increasing rates of
erosion, a decline in the quantity and quality of traditional
medicinal plants, and a loss of habitats of the animals that the
people hunt. As the original stewards of the land, the people of
Nishnawbe Aski face many challenges to mitigate and protect
this changing environment.
Image source: Doug Merriman
12

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