29 May AFN Yukon Regional Chief Supports Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Declaration of State of Emergency on Climate Change
(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Yukon Regional Chief Kluane Adamek today re-affirmed her strong support for the recent declaration of a state of emergency on climate change by the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, the most northern community in the Yukon. Regional Chief Adamek brought the issue directly to the AFN National Executive Committee this week in an effort to create national awareness of the urgent situation facing First Nations citizens in the northern territory, and put forward a motion of support that was passed unanimously by the AFN Executive.
“First Nations, especially those in the North, are the first to feel the impacts of climate change and we can be first responders in taking action on this global crisis,” said AFN Yukon Regional Chief Kluane Adamek, who leads the AFN’s efforts on the environment and climate change. “I fully support the state of emergency declared by the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation and am working with them to advance this declaration with First Nations in the Yukon and beyond.”
“Our people have long spoken of this great change and now we are seeing it. This Declaration was made in respect of all living beings and for the future of all peoples,” added Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Chief Tizya-Tramm. “Its title comes from our past
Elder Sara Abel Chitze, born in 1896, who said ‘Yeendoo Diinehdoo Ji’heezrit Nits’oo Ts’o’ Nan He’aa,’ which means ‘after our time, how will the world be?’ In this climate crisis, we must all ask ourselves this question.”
The state of emergency was declared by the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation on May 19, 2019 in Old Crow, Yukon. First Nations in the Yukon are experiencing first-hand the impacts of climate change and the effects on the communities, landscape and wildlife. The goal of the state of emergency is to create an Indigenous climate accord across the Arctic Circle and beyond.
The motion put forward by Regional Chief Adamek at the AFN Executive Committee Meeting, held May 27-29 in Ottawa, was unanimously supported by the AFN National Executive Committee. The motion reads:
“That the Executive Committee support the Advisory Committee on Climate Action and the Environment (ACE) in calling a “climate emergency”, in support of the Vuntut Gwichin who released their Yeendoo Diinehdoo Ji’heezrit Nits’oo Ts’o’ Nan He’aa Declaration last week, and the important work of women, youth and Elders in advancing action on climate change”
The AFN Executive Committee is comprised of the AFN National Chief and AFN Regional Chiefs from across the country.
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.