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How B.C.'s Indigenous communities are facing climate change, and creating solutions



The signs of climate change are everywhere. Lighter snowpacks others rising water levels and the conversations around climate are shifting just two years ago the phrase. The green new deal was just a bullet point in political platform since then it's expanded into a worldwide phenomenon and a solution. Some feel will slow down. The human caused portion of climate change. Jillian brave noise cat is been there. Every step of the way he worked with elected officials to help draft the green new deal resolution. Julian is a member of the Canam Lake Ban to cast skin in British Columbia. Hi Julian welcome back to the show. Thanks so much for having me so first of all. What is the green new deal so the green new deal began as a resolution introduced by representative Alexandria costs? He'll Cortez of New York and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts. It's a resolution with big ambitions to take on the dual crises of inequality and climate change but the discourse here because America's media market political scene often spills over into Canada and Europe and elsewhere has also been picked up by sort of more left leaning forces in other countries so the New Democratic Party. The Social Democratic Party in in Canada picked up the green new deal as part of their platform and has been talking about it in the Canadian context as well and use climate activists who are also sort of affiliated with the left wing and Canada have also been talking about potentially a a green new deal for Canada. What the green new deal is in. That is big jobs infrastructure investment. Sort of package so your listeners might be familiar with sort of carbon price and tax approach. That has been led by the liberal government in Canada and the distinction between that approach and the green new deal is that rather than sort of forcing consumers and businesses to have a off where they have to pay higher prices for gasoline. And things like that to sort of benefit the environment and to lower emissions. The green new deal says that we should invest in decarbonising a whole set of industries and sectors in a way that will create jobs and promote a more fair and equitable economy. Why is this important for indigenous people in Canada so I think that first nations and indigenous people in both the United States and Canada have played an outsized role in the fight for environmental justice over the last ten twenty years? Maybe even further back. If you look at the history of resistance to pipelines and Forestry and mining you know first nations have often been some of the loudest voices you know. Putting their very bodies on the line in front of pipelines and projects. That are going to damage the environment and public health. So I I would say that. A lot of the grassroots energy of the green new deal comes from first nations for example representative Alexandria. Cossio Cortez the politician who led the charge for green new deal here in the United States actually got started as a volunteer organizer. Supporting the move. Minute Standing Rock So I would say that. The indigenous movement both in the United States and Canada really has played a significant underlying role. That people haven't fully appreciated in producing the green new deal. I think the questions that first nations sovereignty and rights raise for the green new deal or not just the fact that communities are disproportionately harmed and polluted by the fossil fuel industry in particular and other extractive industries more generally but also you know what it might look like to in both the federal systems of Canada and the United States to incorporate first nations governments as equal partners in the federal system. That is that is pushing for action on climate change. What would it look like for first nations governments in in Canada and the United States to lead a transition to clean energy to create a lot of the jobs in their communities to be empowered as environmental stewards in protectors? And I think the examples that we should be looking to are things. Like the Guardian Watchmen program in the great bear rainforest. Other parts of Canada where first nations twenty thirty years ago stood up against logging and forestry and now today employ some of their own members as environmental stewards and protectors making sure that some of the most important carbon sinks in North America remain protected and can help us in the fight against climate change. So I think it's those kinds of things that we should be thinking about and then abroad or sort of intellectual and philosophical sense. I think that climate change really is an existential threat for humans and human societies around the world and of course you know first nations you know what it means to live. Through an apocalypse we lived through the apocalypse of of colonization. We lived through the apocalypse of our children being taken away to residential schools Canada and boarding schools in the United States and in a broader sense of human sort of confronting this enormous tragic upheaval to our societies. I think that you know indigenous people in Canada and and more generally actually have perspectives and experiences to lend to those set of

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