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
CYFN has staffed a Climate Change Community Liaison since 2016.
The Community Liaison supports Yukon First Nations and three Northern BC First Nation governments and communities in adapting to climate change. Support can include assisting communities in identifying climate change needs and project ideas, linking projects to potential funding sources, and helping develop project proposals. The Liaison also shares through newsletters information about climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as opportunities for training, funding, workshops and events.
The Climate Change Community Liaison also coordinates the Yukon Committee for Climate Change Adaptation (Y3CA) which provides recommendations to two federal departments regarding project submissions to two national programs: The Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program and the Climate Change Preparedness in the North Program. Proposals are reviewed on an ongoing basis (roughly 3 times per year).
If your First Nation or community is interested in exploring climate change project ideas or requires additional support with the proposal information and process, please contact our Climate Change Community Liaison, Merran Smith at Merran.Smith@nullcyfn.net or 867-393-9200 ext. 9244.