June 29, 2021 — Nunavut — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
The Government of Canada is working together with Indigenous and Northern partners to find solutions to the impacts of climate change in the North.
Today, Minister of Northern Affairs Daniel Vandal highlighted progress on three unique, Indigenous-led projects that are helping communities in Nunavut adapt to the challenges posed by climate change.
The Minister met virtually with the mayor of the Hamlet of Arviat to learn about their Community Drainage Plan project. The Hamlet has been experiencing the effects of climate change, including permafrost degradation and more severe weather events that have caused the flooding of community streets and residents’ property. With funding from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, the Hamlet developed the Community Drainage Plan, which will guide its response to drainage issues to help prevent road damage from flood events and mitigate some of the effects experienced as a result of climate change.
In the Kivalliq region, the Kivalliq Wildlife Board is using science along with Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit—or Inuit Traditional Knowledge—through a terrestrial and marine community-based monitoring project that studies the connection between climate, vegetation and caribou, as well as water conditions and the marine food chain. The project addresses community concerns across the entire Kivalliq region regarding access to country food by developing local monitoring capacity to track the impacts of climate change. The monitoring activities are conducted by local youth with the guidance of hunters, women and Elders, who promote intergenerational knowledge exchange and culture-based capacity building rooted within their own culture.
Many communities in the North continue to rely on diesel or other emissions-intensive sources of energy, which not only contribute to climate change but are also costly and polluting. In the Hamlet of Baker Lake, the community is installing a 130 kilowatt solar energy system on its recreation centre, which will reduce reliance on imported diesel by an estimated 32,000 litres per year. The project will also create local employment opportunities, generate revenue for the community and provide renewable energy training to community members.
These projects are delivering important environmental, social and economic benefits that lead to healthier, more sustainable and resilient communities across Nunavut. They also build community clean energy capacity and help reduce the impacts of climate change.