Powerful Tool Shows Big First Nations Climate Commitment
Vancouver, BC, June 28, 2023 – This week, the West Coast Climate Action Network (WE-CAN) launched the BC First Nations Climate Action Data Quilt, a comprehensive database and mapping tool that connects First Nations climate action initiatives in British Columbia. The Quilt includes projects such as community-wide heat pumps in Bella Bella by the Heiltsuk First Nation, solar initiatives by the Tŝilhqot’in National Government, a micro-hydro project near Port Alberni by the Hupačasath First Nation, and 300 other projects. It encompasses community energy planning, renewable energy, opposition to fossil fuel pipelines, and sustainable housing.
As it grows, the Quilt will gather new stitches to include more initiatives related to sustainable housing, climate adaptation, climate planning and education, local food production, and ecological forestry. Many projects in the Quilt have received financial support from the BC provincial government’s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund and the New Relationship Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative.
Regional Chief Terry Teegee, of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations has emphasized the significance of the Quilt, acknowledging the valuable work and leadership of First Nations in combating climate change and protecting communities, cultures, and the environment.
The Quilt was developed by volunteers from the Indigenous Engagement Team of the West Coast Climate Action Network, with support from Cree8iv Collaboration Inc. and the Glasswaters Foundation. The information was gathered and analyzed from publicly available sources, and verification was conducted by DEVA Jessica Jack from the Okanagan Indian Band. The Quilt aims to increase public awareness of Indigenous-led climate action, facilitate learning and collaboration among First Nations leaders and policymakers, and welcome suggestions for improvements.
The Quilt was launched at a Zoom event on Monday, June 26th, MC’s by Cree/Métis project leader Sharon Marshall and with guests Holly Johnson, Climate Action Coordinator at the Skidegate Band Council; Jessica Jack; and the award-winning Métis musician Andrea Menard. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and Joan Phillip, the newly elected MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, were unable to attend due to a last-minute eventuality.
For an introduction to the Quilt, visit https://westcoastclimateaction.ca/indigenous-engagement/data-quilt/