Indigenous Climate Adaptation Technical Working Group Application (Reposting for Omineca and Northern B.C.)

Background

Climate change is having an impact on human life, food security, healthy communities, and critical infrastructure both globally, and locally in B.C. Indigenous communities are disproportionately affected by climate change. The unique threats faced by Indigenous communities, whose culture, identity, traditional food and traditional governance are interwoven with their land and water, require explicit consideration and timely planning.

In December 2018, the Province released the CleanBC plan to reduce climate pollution and transition to a clean economy. CleanBC includes a commitment to work in collaboration with Indigenous people to develop a provincial climate preparedness and adaptation strategy (adaptation strategy). The adaptation strategy may result in changes to legislation, regulations, policies and practices to meet the following objectives:

  • Advancing reconciliation by implementing the standards and expectations set out in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Actions, the B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, and the Province’s Draft 10 Principles that Guide the Province of B.C.’s Relationship with Indigenous peoples.
  • Preparing the Province, Indigenous communities, local governments and the public and private sectors for the risks and opportunities of B.C.’s changing climate.
  • Identifying, characterizing, and reducing climate risks.
  • Building a resilient, sustainable economy in B.C. that is actively adapting to climate change.
  • Educating British Columbians to ensure an understanding of the importance of preparing for climate change.
  • Increasing public confidence that the Province is working to manage climate risks and is taking appropriate action.

Consistent with the goals of reconciliation, the Province recognizes the importance of engaging Indigenous peoples in British Columbia in the development of the adaptation strategy. The Province acknowledges the need for meaningful involvement of Indigenous peoples in plans, decisions and strategies developed to prepare for the impacts of climate change. To ensure that Indigenous perspectives are meaningfully considered and integrated during the development of the adaptation strategy, the Province has formed an Indigenous Climate Adaptation Technical Working Group.

Mandate

The mandate of the Indigenous Climate Adaptation Technical Working Group (working group) is to provide technical advice and collaborate on a broad range of matters related to preparing for and adapting to climate change. While the working group will develop their own terms of reference and workplan based on the scope of the adaptation strategy, it is anticipated that the working group may be interested in:

  • Identifying and documenting how various Indigenous communities have prepared for, or are planning to prepare for, climate change.

  • Providing on-going advice on how to incorporate Indigenous values and perspectives into plans, strategies and programs designed to address climate change impacts facing Indigenous communities and ensuring the perspectives of Indigenous Elders, women and youth are included.

  • Advising on how to integrate Indigenous knowledge into the development of the adaptation strategy, in professional climate adaptation education, and climate risk assessment processes.

  • Providing advice on Indigenous engagement options and strategies related to the development of the adaptation strategy.

  • Co-drafting the adaptation strategy sections relating to Indigenous peoples.

  • Helping the Province implement the standards and expectations set out in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Actions, the B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Declaration Act), and the Province’s Draft 10 Principles that Guide the Province of B.C.’s Relationship with Indigenous peoples.

In Spring 2019, the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy’s Climate Action Secretariat (CAS) began engagement with Indigenous communities on the provincial climate adaptation strategy through a series of CleanBC regional sessions and a provincial forum in January 2020. The results of these engagements and ongoing engagement on CleanBC and the adaptation strategy will be provided to the working group as it becomes available. This will help ensure the strategy will support communities in preparing for the impacts of climate change. 

The IndCAT WG was established in January 2020.

Indigenous Climate Adaptation Technical Working Group Working Group Membership and Qualifications

The working group will be co-chaired by a member of CAS and a member selected by the group. Members of the working group will be comprised of Indigenous people, or non-Indigenous individuals representing Indigenous communities, with relevant professional and personal expertise and experience related to climate change adaptation as set out below. It is expected that the representative has sought approval to participate from the Indigenous community they represent.

Selection Process

Eight (8) representatives will be selected following an expression of interest process, with an aim for gender balance, geographic representation and representation from communities. At this time representatives from territories in the northern B.C. (e.g. Northeast; Omineca) are sought.

Potential members of the working group must demonstrate at least two years of experience with climate adaptation, and have significant knowledge of, or work, academic or lived experience with, at least one or more of the following:

  • Indigenous knowledge systems

  • Use of Indigenous knowledge together with other forms of evidence, including science, in studies or to inform decision making

  • Indigenous-led climate adaptation and resilience planning initiatives

  • Indigenous-led programs/plans/policies/measures/recommendations to address the impacts of climate variability and change on the natural environment and communities (e.g. wildfire, ecosystem changes, health risks)

  • Best practices for Indigenous participation, collaboration, and partnership

Roles and Responsibilities

Working group members will be expected to be available and prepared to participate in working group meetings. It is anticipated that the working group will meet virtually twice a month and will conduct its substantial work between November 2019 and August 2020. Documents will be distributed prior to meetings for review to facilitate discussion. It is expected that working group members will spend up to eight hours per month preparing for working group meetings.

The working group is working towards a consent-based, collaborative and cooperative decision-making process. However, we also recognize that unanimous agreement may not always be possible.  When the working group is unable to reach consensus, any non-consensus views will be fully considered and accurately recorded.

CAS will provide secretariat support to the working group.

Term of the Indigenous Climate Adaptation Technical Working Group

The initial term of the working group is expected to be from October 2019 to December 2020.

New members joining the working group are expected to have a term from May 2020 to December 2020.

The term may be extended at the direction of the co-chairs.

Remuneration

The expectation is that working group members will be provided a remuneration for participation in meetings. An honorarium for $250 per ½ day virtual meeting will be provide and is in accordance with the B.C. Government’s Core Policy.

How to Apply

Interested applicants are encouraged to submit:

  • Letter of Interest (maximum of two pages), including information on:
    • How you meet the qualifications listed above
    • Why you are interested in being part of the working group
    • How you will represent the interests of your community or organization. This should include their approval for you to participate in the working group
    • Your relevant background and experience in climate change adaptation and resilience
    • Connections and relationships with Indigenous nations in B.C.
  • Resume, including information on:
    • Relevant experience, expertise and professional credentials.
  • Submit full application (letter of interest and resume) to Amanda Broad at amanda.broad@gov.bc.ca

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed following the close of the call for nominations. The review process will be followed by decisions on which applicants will be appointed as members.

The selection process includes a detailed review of all applications received to ensure that candidates meet the necessary qualifications, and that the working group is composed of the appropriate balance and range of expertise.

All applicants will be notified of the results. Applicants selected as members will be contacted by the B.C. Climate Action Secretariat via email following the completion of the selection process to invite them to serve on the working group. 

Proposed timeline for the selection process:

  • Applications close Monday, June 8 at noon. Late application will be accepted and may be considered depending on the number of applications.

Contact Information

If you have questions about the working group or the application process, please contact:

Amanda Broad, Senior Policy Analyst
Climate Risk Management
BC Climate Action Secretariat
Phone: 778-698-4994
Email: Amanda.Broad@gov.bc.ca