The Province of Alberta will support a partnership between the Kainai First Nation and The Rockies Institute to boost climate change education, research, and planning in the water-stressed community.

The Kainai First Nation will use a grant, funded by Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, to work with The Rockies Institute to better understand climate change and how it affects Indigenous peoples within the Blackfoot Confederacy.

“Indigenous peoples are at the forefront of the effects of climate change, and our government is proud to support projects that can improve resiliency in their communities,” said Shannon Phillips, Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office. “This funding will help Kainai First Nation plan for future climate impacts in a water-stressed region while informing government policy and ensuring respectful integration of traditional ecological knowledge.”

Minister Phillips at the podium for the announcement. Credit: Government of Alberta.

The $230,000 grant will support the Building Climate Resilience and Adaptation in the Kainai First Nation project, which includes climate education sessions and opportunities for elders and youth to connect and learn about how climate change affects botany and food security.

“We are very happy to be able to build on what we started over a year ago thanks to investments from the Alberta government. This will help our community develop a much-needed climate adaptation plan as well as inspire youth and elders to reconnect in new ways while learning about climate change,” said Roy Fox, Chief, Blood Tribe. “We look forward to this learning journey between Blackfoot traditional knowledge and western science.”

The funding has already allowed the Kainai First Nation to hire an internal climate change coordinator, Diandra Bruised Head, and will help The Rockies Institute design and deliver an adaptation plan that includes research and recommendations for adjusting to a changing environment.

“This partnership is an exciting opportunity to increase networks between the Kainai Nation and climate change experts,” said Bruised Head. “I am encouraged by the opportunity to use and develop my skills and knowledge to positively impact my community for a successful future in the face of uncertain and unprecedented change.”

The Building Climate Resilience and Adaptation in the Kainai First Nation project directly supports the provincial government’s efforts on climate change mitigation and adaptation, and will provide crucial insight for future policies and strategies that are more informed, compassionate and community-aware.

“This journey is already emerging as a truly collaborative model that will deeply impact the tribe’s ability to adapt to climate change and to inspire others to begin journeys of their own toward a climate-safe future,” said Laura Lynes, president, The Rockies Institute. “The Alberta government’s support of the project highlights how local action can have global significance.”

The Rockies Institute is a charitable organization that combines knowledge and best practices from around the world to inspire innovative responses to climate change.


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