Assembly of First Nations (AFN) to Advocate for Urgent and Transformative Climate Action Led by First Nations at COP 28

Published: Nov 30, 2023Press Release

(Ottawa, Unceded Algonquin Territory, Ontario) – The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is sending a delegation to the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12, 2023. The delegation, led by Grand Chief Judy Wilson, will also include Elder Lorraine Netro from the AFN Knowledge Keepers Council and Marie-Philippe Ménard from the AFN National Youth Council, with support from the AFN Secretariat.  

At COP 28, the AFN will present its position paper titled, “Advancing and Affirming First Nations Climate Leadership.” This document illustrates how the First Nations Climate Lens can be leveraged to create space for Indigenous Peoples’ governance, rights, and knowledge systems within all areas of the UNFCCC, including national and sub-national climate action. The delegation will present the AFN National Climate Strategy in the Indigenous Peoples Pavilion and the Canadian Pavilion, and participate in various events, including the Annual Knowledge Holders Gathering and the Indigenous Youth Roundtable. The AFN National Climate Strategy, which received approval from First Nations-in-Assembly in July 2023, and was released in October 2023, emphasizes the need for urgent and transformative climate action led by First Nations.

“COP 28 is an important opportunity to advance the leadership of First Nations in addressing the global climate crisis,” said Grand Chief Judy Wilson. “This is consistent with Resolution 36/2023, Urgent and Transformative Climate Action through the AFN National Climate Strategy. This event provides a unique opportunity to disseminate the AFN National Climate Strategy, showing First Nations perspectives and solutions to climate change. The AFN’s call for urgent and transformative climate action aligns with the latest reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on adaptation, mitigation, and physical science.”

Additionally, the AFN delegation will engage in high-level meetings with key government officials, both federally and internationally. These include Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and Catherine Stewart, Canada’s Climate Change Ambassador, as well as Indigenous Peoples from around the globe. The delegation will also work on creating concrete opportunities for the ethical and equitable engagement of First Nations, including First Nations youth, to demonstrate climate leadership.

“Climate change is a global challenge, but it also manifests itself locally. Canada’s record-breaking fire season this summer, over 15 million hectares have burned affecting First Nations from coast to coast to coast, highlights the urgent need for action.” said Grand Chief Judy Wilson. “In response to this crisis and observations from knowledge keepers, First Nations have been taking matters into their own hands through the development of the AFN National Climate Strategy. The strategy calls for the revitalization of First Nations value systems that are grounded in a deep reciprocal relationship with the Land and Water.”

For more information about COP 28, please visit  

To access the AFN position paper “Advancing and Affirming First Nations Climate Leadership,” please visit


The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada on matters of national or international nature and concern. 

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Contact information:

Ayman Hammamieh
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations                                                                                                      
343-573-1771 (mobile)
[email protected]