Feds announce funding to tackle climate change in Inuit region of Atlantic Canada

An aerial view between the towns of Nain and Natuashish in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2007. Federal funding will help local climate change projects in the Inuit region of Nunatsiavut. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)
The federal government announced $977,975 in funding on Monday to help Inuit communities in Atlantic Canada better tackle climate change impacts in the their region.

The funding will go to food security, infrastructure, and traditional skills projects in Nunatsiavut, the Inuit region of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

“The Government of Canada is working with the people of Nunatsiavut to build on their traditional knowledge and find new and innovative approaches to advance climate change resilience

in their communities,” said Yvonne Jones, the member of parliament for Labrador and parliamentary secretary to Carolyn Bennett, Canada’s minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, in a news release.

“These projects will improve Nunatsiavut’s autonomy and capacity to achieve these goals while renewing the Inuit-Crown relationship on the basis of recognition of rights, respect and partnership.”

National climate change plan

The funding announced will be delivered through the Climate Change Preparedness in the North Program, part of Canada’s national climate change plan known as the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Energy and Climate Change.

The four projects to receive the monies are:

  • Going Off, Growing Strong: A youth-oriented project focusing on food security and managing a community freezer
  • Knowledge Exchange Hide Workshop: A project where First Nations representatives from Canada’s Northwest Territories and Inuit from Labrador come together to share their traditional knowledge.
  • Infrastructure Assessments: Evaluation of site in the town of Hopedale for a food centre.
  • Nunatsiavut Food Security Strategy: Tackling Labrador-specific food security issues as strategy is developed.

Food insecurity is an ongoing issue in Nunatsiavut.

The 2017 Nunatsiavut Household Food Security Survey found that factors including climate change and high food prices in remote villages made household food insecurity as high as 80 per cent in some communities.

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

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Loaded with more mercury than previously thought, permafrost thaw could be a ticking time bomb, Radio Canada International

Finland: Climate change and youth loneliness top priorities for President Niinistö’s second term, Yle News

Norway: Environment ministers on Barents coast to discuss Arctic sea safety and climate change, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Climate change hinders residential constructions in Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Arctic fishing agreement – When climate change drives diplomacy, Blog by Mia Bennett



Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning 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 murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

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

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

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."

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