Developing strategies and framing climate discourse to bolster First Nations’ voices in Climate Change.

The First Nations Climate Lens A critical, decolonizing lens on climate that promotes holistic, multi-dimensional and interconnected solutions for climate issues.

First Nations face unique climate risks because of how colonialism and capitalism have shaped where we live, our socio-economic conditions, and how we exercise our relationships with Mother Earth. The AFN has developed a ‘Climate Lens’  to ensure that First Nations’ experiences and interconnections aren’t overlooked when contemplating climate related solutions for (or by) First Nations.

A First Nations’ Climate lens advocates for a fundamental reframing of the climate discourse; it moves away from the overemphasis on technological solutions, towards a framing that emphasizes the centrality of First Nations’ governance, rights and knowledge systems. This proposes that a critical and decolonizing lens is essential for equitable, immediate and transformative action built on solutions that are holistic, multi-dimensional and interconnected.

Case Study: BC First Nations Climate Strategy and Action Plan

The BC First Nations Climate Strategy and Action Plan, released in 2022, is grounded on a vision, five guiding principles, and four priority pathways for climate action: Inherent Title and Rights; Capacity and Leadership; Land and Water Protection; and Climate Response and Preparedness. The full Strategy, as well as 20 Urgent Calls for Climate Action, can be found on the website:

Case Study: The Yukon First Nations Reconnection Vision

The Yukon Climate Action Fellowship, a cohort of 13 First Nations youth from across the Yukon, launched their Reconnection Vision (RV) in May 2023. The RV identifies the dominant approach to climate action is to treat the symptoms of climate change (e.g., rising carbon dioxide emissions) rather than the root causes—Disconnected relationships. Their response is to emphasize the concept of Reconnection, framing Reconnection—the practice of getting back into good relationship with spirit, self, each other, and the Land—as climate action. The full Reconnection can be found on the website:

First Nations jurisdiction and inherent right to self-determination

Address capacity needs to support First Nations governance and their role as climate leaders

First Nations self-sufficiency in food, water, and energy

Close the natural and built infrastructure gap

First Nations are equipped to mitigate, prevent, respond and recover to all emergencies

Leverage the First Nations Climate Lens to reform legislation, policy, and programs

Environmental action based in First Nations knowledge systems, health, languages, cultures and spiritualities

To top