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Northern Premiers issue Pan-Northern Statement on Climate Change

Press Release

May 9, 2022

Today, Caroline Cochrane, Premier of the Northwest Territories, along with Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok, Yukon Premier Sandy Silver, and Indigenous Leaders from across the North issued the first Pan-Northern Leaders’ Statement on Climate Change.

Canada’s North is warming up three to four times faster than the global average and northern communities are seeing these impacts first-hand. While all three territories continue to do their part to reduce emissions and transition to a lower carbon economy, the joint statement recognizes that collaboration is needed to address the unique impacts of climate change in Canada’s North

The statement calls for federal attention, support, and investment in seven key areas including climate-resilient infrastructure, renewable and alternative secure energy systems, emergency preparedness, Northern research, knowledge and capacity building, supporting health and wellness, preservation of cultural identity and economic opportunities.

Northern residents are profoundly affected by climate change.  The statement issued today by Northern Premiers and endorsed by eleven NWT Indigenous leaders and Indigenous leaders from across the North, underscores the need to address the threats that climate change poses to the sustainability of our communities and the health and safety of our residents.

Northern Leaders’ also call for the federal government to recognize the importance of reconciliation through climate change actions by supporting Indigenous-led approaches, including Indigenous governments in decision-making, and the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge wherever possible.

Quote(s)

“Northern leaders know that our voices can get lost in the national conversation. That’s why it is so important for us to speak with regional unity and clarity—to ensure that Northern and Indigenous concerns, and solutions—are given the weight they deserve.

“The Pan-Northern Leaders’ Statement on Climate Change is a united call for strategic investments in climate change adaptation and clean energy throughout Canada’s North that will help achieve our shared goals to reduce emissions, strengthen the resilience of our communities, and grow a sustainable economy.”

– Caroline Cochrane, Premier of the Northwest Territories

Quick facts

  • The Pan-Northern Leaders’ Statement on Climate Change identifies seven key areas for increased attention:
    • Climate-resilient infrastructure
    • Renewable and alternative secure energy systems
    • Emergency preparedness
    • Northern research, knowledge, and capacity building
    • Supporting health and wellness
    • Preservation of cultural identity
    • Economic and leadership opportunities
  • The call has been endorsed by the following members of the Northwest Territories Council of Leaders:
    • Acho Dene Koe First Nation
    • Dehcho First Nations
    • Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government
    • Gwich’in Tribal Council
    • Kátł’odeeche First Nation
    • Nahanni Butte Dene Band
    • North Slave Métis Alliance
    • Northwest Territories Métis Nation
    • Sahtú Secretariat Incorporated
    • Salt River First Nation
    • Tłı̨chǫ Government
  • Premiers of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon will be available to answer questions about the statement at the conclusion of the Northern Premier’s Forum at 3:15 pm on Monday, May 9, 2022.
  • Media contacts are provided below for each signatory of the Northwest Territories
  • that has endorsed the Pan-Northern Leaders’ Statement on Climate Change.

Related links

For more information, contact:

Todd Sasaki

Manager

Public Affairs and Communications

Government of the Northwest Territories
867-767-9168 ext. 15015

Boyd Clark

Advisor/Band Manager (Acting)

Acho Dene Koe First Nation
306-681-5171

Alison dePelham

Executive Director

Dehcho First Nations

867-695-2355

Paulina Roche

Chief Executive Officer

Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government

867-589-8100, ext. 106

Tom Weegar

Chief Executive Officer

Gwich’in Tribal Council

867-777-7900

Gary Yablonski

Chief Executive Officer

Kátł’odeeche First Nation
867-874-6701

Soham Srimani

Band Manager

Nahanni Butte Dene Band

867-446-1248

Marc Whitford

Vice-President

North Slave Métis Alliance

867-873-6762, ext. 1007

Ursula Vogt

Executive Director

Northwest Territory Métis Nation

867-872-2770, ext. 24

Orlena Modeste

Executive Director

Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated

867-589-4719

Elizabeth Westwell

Chief Executive Officer

Salt River First Nation

867-872-2986, ext. 1009

Laura Duncan

Tłı̨chǫ Executive Officer

Tłı̨chǫ Government

867-392-6381

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