COP21: View from Yukon, Canada

Share
According to the Yukon State of the Environment report 2014 , Yukon produced 0.05 per cent of Canada's emissions. The transportation sector contributes the largest share of emissions in the territory. (iStock)
According to the Yukon State of the Environment report 2014 , Yukon produced 0.05 per cent of Canada’s emissions. The transportation sector contributes the largest share of emissions in the territory. (iStock)
In the run up to the United Nations climate change conference in Paris (November 30- December 11), Eye on the Arctic spoke to different leaders from across Canada’s North.

In this interview series we explore how climate change is affecting Canada’s northern regions and whether international conferences like COP21 can actually make a difference in the day-to-day lives of northern Peoples.

"In the Yukon, most First Nations still practise their traditional lifestyles," says Yukon Grand Chief Ruth Massie. "It's just harder to get out on the land to your different hunting grounds because of the late ice buildup and the early thaws." (Courtesy Council of Yukon First Nations)
“In the Yukon, most First Nations still practise their traditional lifestyles,” says Yukon Grand Chief Ruth Massie. “It’s just harder to get out on the land to your different hunting grounds because of the late ice buildup and the early thaws.” (Courtesy Council of Yukon First Nations)

First up, we focus on Yukon, Canada’s north-westernmost territory.

International studies, including ones like the 2014 Arctic Report Card update, find that the Arctic is warming more than twice as fast as other regions. For northern communities, this is having an impact on everything from infrastructure to changes in traditional hunting patterns.

Climate & culture

But something that doesn’t get alot of attention, is the social and cultural impacts these changes are having on the North’s indigenous communities.

“We’re finding that more of our people are not going out onto their lands and practising their lifestyles like hunting and trapping and fishing,” says Ruth Massie, the Grand Chief of the Council of Yukon First Nations. “And of course, that effects the younger generation because you don’t have the opportunity to teach them your traditional lifestyle first-hand.”

This is just one of the messages that Massie hopes to bring to the climate change conference, also known as COP21, when she travels to Paris with the Canadian delegation at the end of the month.

Feature Interview
To find out more, Eye on the Arctic spoke with Grand Chief Ruth Massie about climate change in Yukon and what’s at stake in Paris:

 

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Feature Interview -The politics of climate, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  Climate change brings new insect arrivals to Finland, Yle News

Norway:  The new face of climate change?, Alaska Dispatch News

Sweden: Final round of UN climate talks before Paris, Radio Sweden

United States: Climate change leads snowshoe hares to Arctic Alaska, Alaska Dispatch News

Share
Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is a journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project.

Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the violent death of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on violence and trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

Twitter: @Arctic_EQ

Email: eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *