The Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) department helps to carry out the corporate approach to political strategies as they relate to natural resources and environmental mandates set by Leadership or the General Assembly. This includes the implementation of the Strategic Plan.
More specifically, the NRE department works on natural resources and environmental matters of concern to Yukon First Nations. This includes mining, mineral exploration, development assessment, fish and wildlife and their habitats, northern contaminants, and climate change.
The NRE department coordinates a variety of Yukon First Nation caucuses, including the Lands and Resources Committee, the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA) Caucus, the Mining Caucus and such other caucuses established and mandated by Leadership.
The NRE department also manages the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) and climate change initiatives. The NCP was established in 1991 in response to concerns that contaminants were reaching the Canadian Arctic. During the first six years, research was focussed on gathering the data required to determine the levels, geographic extent, and source of contaminants in the northern atmosphere, environment, and its peoples. Monitoring in Yukon has continued to show that our traditional foods are very safe to eat and highly nutritious. Today, NRE staff are involved in a regional Yukon Contaminants Committee, whose members include Yukon Government, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.
For more information on the NCP, please click on the following link: www.northerncontaminants.ca
Climate Change Support
Since 2016, the Council of Yukon First Nations has been in a contribution agreement with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) to staff a Climate Change Community Liaison.
The Climate Change Community Liaison position supports Yukon and Northern BC First Nation governments and communities to successfully adapt to the negative impacts of climate change and take advantage of the positive impacts. This support comes in the form of assisting communities to identify climate change needs and project ideas, linking these projects to potential funding sources, and helping with the development of project proposals. The Liaison also shares knowledge with communities about climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as opportunities for training and political advocacy.
There are emerging funding opportunities coming from the Federal Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which communities will be able to apply to beginning this fall. Some of this funding is for projects that are linked to green infrastructure, health, community-based monitoring, renewable energy, and adaptation planning.
The Climate Change Community Liaison can provide support for these (and other) funding opportunities, and chairs a Regional Climate Change Technical Committee which will provide direct recommendations regarding Yukon project submissions for two of these funding opportunities (Climate and Health Adaptation Program, and Climate Change Preparedness in the North).
If your community is interested in exploring climate change project ideas or requires additional support with the proposal process, call or email our Climate Change Community Liaison Shailyn.firstname.lastname@example.org or 867-393-9200 ext 9244