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         → Indigenous Ingenuity exhibit

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                                                                                                                                                                   Logo by Stephen Gladue


The main objective of Acting on Climate Change: Indigenous Innovations is to forward cross-cultural learning on climate change mitigation and adaptation that makes meaningful progress towards Reconciliation in Canada, recognizing the leadership of Indigenous cultures with respect to sustainability as a key element of their relationship with the environment.

To reach this objective, there are three specific goals: 

(1) Share Indigenous climate change and sustainability success stories in Canada with other Indigenous peoples and with Indigenous leaders.

(2) Inform the general Canadian public about Indigenous peoples’ leadership and innovation in climate and sustainability action.

(3) Use these success stories to inform policy recommendations to all other levels of government (federal, provincial/regional and municipal) to support culturally-relevant, evidence-based climate decision-making informed by Indigenous traditional knowledge.


Climate Action Youth Ambassador Program 

Recognizing the importance of training the next generation of Indigenous leaders, Indigenous Youth Ambassadors will be recruited and participate in a holistic training program focused on leadership, culture, jurisdiction, reconciliation and climate action as well as basic filmmaking and investigative journalism techniques. Our first trainings occurred in Western Canada in Summer 2017 and Northern Canada in Fall 2017, and the Eastern Canada training is to come in Fall 2018.

Western Canada

Watch the video below summarizing the Western Canada training. For more information, visit the Facebook page!


Northern Canada

In Northern Canada, the Climate Action Youth Ambassador Program joined forces with the Yukon Indigenous Community Climate Change Champion (YIC4) training event held in Whitehorse, November 27–30th, 2017. YIC4 welcomed 25 Indigenous youth from across the Yukon as well as four guest youth from NWT and Nunatsiavut. The training, hosted by the Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research, focused on building a strong foundation of Indigenous and scientific knowledge about the causes and effects of and adaptation strategies for climate change. Dr. Catherine Potvin, Dene Elder Francois Paulette from the Northwest Territories, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Elders Mary Jane Jim and Chuck Hume, Kluane First Nation's Mary Jane Johnson, and Elder Richard Wilson from Haida Gwaii, were invited as Indigenous and non-Indigenous trainers. 

The youth worked on individual plans for conducting a community assessment and built their tools which they will implement, with the support of AICBR, in the New Year. In Summer of 2018, they will come back together with their assessment work and continue developing their leadership and community-based research skills. For more on the project, please visit: or contact Norma Kassi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Derrick Redies from Ross River, Yukon and Bobbi Rose from Fort McPherson, NWT, addressing participants and guests from an Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Community-Based Monitoring forum as well as invited dignitaries, Minister of Community Services (as well as Minister responsible for French Language Services Directorate and the Yukon Liquor Corporation/Yukon Lottery Commission) John Streicker and Minister of Environment and Minister of Health and Social Services (as well as Minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporation) Pauline Frost of the Yukon Legislative Assembly. 

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 Artist Heidi Marion’s depiction of Dr. Catherine Potvin’s talk about climate change mitigation. 

Montreal Science Centre collaboration

Indigenous Ingenuity exhibit 

Developed by the Montreal Science Centre, a federal museum, the Indigenous Ingenuity exhibit is showcasing some of the Indigenous climate change initiatives from October 2017–March 2018 and again from October 2018–March 2019 in Montreal. The exhibit could travel across Canada over the next five years in two formats: large scale for cities and small scale for community centres. 

Climate Tactics online game

Interested in teaching kids about climate action in Canada? Help the Trickster save the polar bear by learning about Indigenous initiatives in climate change in Climate Tactics, an online game produced by the Science Centre, featuring 30 projects from our database! 



Climate Change and Sustainability Initiatives

Throughout Canada, there are existing, inspiring initiatives that demonstrate the leadership and innovation of Indigenous peoples in sustainability and climate action. The green dots below represent communities with such initiatives who have agreed to be given visibility via Indigenous Innovations. Click on the map for a closer look at some of the projects! Want to learn more? Visit Climate Tactics for a deeper dive into all 30 projects!

Eastern Canada

Renewable Energy Projects:

  • Biomass 1
  • Geothermal 0
  • Hydro 2
  • Solar 1
  • Wind 6

Example project :

Innu Pharmacy

Northern Canada

Renewable Energy Projects:

  • Biomass 1
  • Geothermal 0
  • Hydro 2
  • Solar 1
  • Wind 6

Example project :

Pond Inlet Water Quality Monitoring

Western Canada

Renewable Energy Projects

  • Biomass 5
  • Geothermal 2
  • Hydro 14
  • Solar 17
  • Wind 4

Example project :

T'Sou-ke Solar Program

Southern Canada

Renewable Energy Projects:

  • Biomass 0
  • Geothermal 2
  • Hydro 8
  • Solar 11
  • Wind 7

Example project :

Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation

If your Nation or community is taking action on climate change and wants to share its initiatives, contact Divya Sharma, Coordinator, Acting on Climate Change: Indigenous Innovations, at divya.sharma2{at} 

Also, check out the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) website, which provides information on Indigenous climate change projects with a health focus.


The project is steered by Norma Kassi (co-Chair), Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research and Catherine Potvin (co-Chair), McGill University, as well as Catherine Béland, First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute, Eli Enns, POLIS Project, and Tonio Sadik, Assembly of First Nations, under the auspices of the UNESCO-McGill Chair for Dialogues on Sustainability. The project coordinator is Divya Sharma, McGill University

Acting on Climate Change: Indigenous Innovations is a project of Dr. Potvin's Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellowship, awarded in 2016. 




Documents related to project:                                                                    

AFN Resolution #20/2016

Project concept note

Trudeau Fellowship proposal submitted

Letter of support for proposal from Assembly of First Nations

Letter of support for proposal from First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute

Presentation at Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives

Letters of agreement for sharing information on communities available upon request.