Cooperation with various Inuit and First Nations peoples in Canada has been a foundation for Snowchange since its inception. Below the work and partner relations are explained in brief 2000-2021 with each Nation and region.
Sto:lo First Nation, BC, Canada
Connections with the Sto:lo date back to 2000. However, main discussions on cooperation ensued around 2005. Between 2006-2019 Snowchange and the Sto:lo established a wide-ranging dialogue on co-management, documentation of traditional land use and occupancy which the Sto:lo had perfected, climate change issues and restoration of traditional knowledge in a community-led style. In 2006 the Grand Chief, later Lieutnant-Governor of British Columbia Steven Point and his wife Gwendolyn visited in Finland, both the in the boreal communities of Southern Finland as well as Ylläs and Rovaniemi in the Arctic. In 2007 Snowchange delegates investigated the ecological restoration work that had taken place on the Skowkale Reserve on salmon habitats. 2007-2019, and since the parties have visited, continued dialogue and partnerships as the occasion has allowed.
Indigenous Governance Programme, University of Victoria, Canada
This Indigenous-led educational initiative has worked with Snowchange since 2000 until its closure in 2018. The cooperation especially between 2000-2005 spanned seminars, field visits, online educational courses and joint publications, including Dispatches from the Cold Seas and Snowscapes, Dreamscapes.
The Kwakwaka‘wakw, BC, Canada
The Kwakwaka‘wakw are another First Nation whose members are have, from the very early days, participated in the Snowchange community network. To name some of the aspects of the 2010-2016 collaborations, they have included:
- Field excursions 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2010, 2012
- Community documentation of traditional knowledge and climate change (Alert Bay) 2002-2006
- Potlatches 2004, 2010
- Educational courses and events
In December 2021 a major science paper with several Elders and scientific overview was released which documented a “century of change” from 1910 to 2010. It is available here.
It is noteworthy to mention that the Snowchange logo, ‘Cultural Warming’ has been originally developed for Snowchange by the north Kwakwaka‘wakw / Haisla artist Albert Morrison-Hayward.
Tahltan First Nation, BC, Canada
The first representatives of the Indigenous peoples of Canada to partner with Snowchange came from the Tahltan First Nation, located in the northern British Columbia. Since those days, the connection has remained strong. This partnership with members of the Tahltan First Nation has included student exchanges, joint publications, field visits, joint seminars and Conferences. The dialogue continues weekly.
In 2019 Snowchange and the Tahltan organised a large fisheries Summit We Adapt – We Restore – We Survive. See a Gaia Foundation multimedia piece below from the event.
Haida First Nation, BC, Canada
Haida Nation has initiated formidable changes and reforms in the northwest coast of British Columbia, BC. They have been and continue to be a respected partner and a friend to Snowchange. The parties have worked on issues of:
- Haida Knowledge of Climate Change
- Haida Views on Oil and Gas Development
- Haida Traditional Knowledge
Snowchange has visited on Haida Gwaii in late 2000, 2001, 2008. Snowchange and Haida participated both in the same events of the World Parks Congress in Australia in November 2014.
Gwich’in First Nation, NWT, Canada
Gwich’in First Nation is the northernmost in the country, living mostly in the Northwest Territories. First discussions with the Gwich’in on cooperation issues took place in 2000. In 2001 Snowchange visited in Inuvik and met with the Gwich’in representatives on climate change documentation. Extensive work took place in 2002-2004 on documentation of Gwich’in oral histories on climate change. They were released in 2004. Gwich’in First Nation delegation took part in the Snowchange 2002 Conference in Finland and in the 2008 Conference in Aotearoa, NZ. Since 2005, the parties have maintained cooperation on the Gwich’in oral histories. Snowchange has provided video materials of the Gwich’in Elders to the Gwitchin Social and Cultural Institute, located in the community of Tsiigehtchic, NWT, Canada (today Department of Cultural Heritage).
Currently (in 2022) the Gwich’in and Snowchange are working together to assess events and historical timelines of ecological change. This work is a part of the Arctic Passion project. We will co-produce new observations and discoveries together with the Gwich’in Tribal Council, Department of Cultural Heritage. This work is co-led by Dr. Leslie McCartney.
Inuit and Inuvialuit
Inuit peoples began to work with Snowchange in 2001. In 2002 community documentation of climate change and its impacts spanned both Inuvialuit and Nunavut home regions in Canada. Several Inuvialuit and Nunavut delegates have participated in Snowchange Conferences in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008. Today, the cooperation continues in the spheres of
- Collaborative management models
- Climate change work
- Indigenous rights (especially with ITK and ICC)
- Questions of traditional knowledge in the Arctic Council
Snowchange has also partnered with several First Nations communities in the boreal zone of Canada. This includes the Wendat, Anishinaabe, KI and other First Nations. Members of these nations participate in the Steering Committee work of Snowchange.