Indigenous people are environmental leaders and Alberta wants their ideas

Monday, March 6th, 2017 10:27pm


Image Caption

Minister of Indigenous Relations Richard Feehan

By staff
With Files from Jeremy Harpe, CFWE-FM

Minister of Indigenous Relations Richard Feehan says he’s “all ears” when it comes to climate change. Alberta is conducting the Indigenous Climate Leadership Survey and Feehan is encouraging Indigenous people in the province to participate.

Indigenous people “are in one of the best positions to tell us what’s changing in the climate, what’s changing in the environment,” the minister told Jeremy Harpe of CFWE-FM, and Feehan wants to know about the concerns in this area.

“We have been moving forward in terms of making some pretty progressive changes in terms of our response to climate change in this province, and we have this great climate leadership program, and this is one of the many ways that we are encouraging First Nations and other Indigenous people in this province to get involved and give us their word.”

The survey seeks to understand the knowledge that citizens have about climate change, and some ideas of how to “construct the committee or the organization that will be moving forward to deliver the monies and the programs for the Indigenous climate leadership program.”

As of Jan. 1, a carbon levy is being applied to heating and transportation fuels and those monies are reinvested into a more diversified Alberta economy.

It’s hoped that the survey is going to help Alberta use the dollars that come out of the carbon levy to make real change in people’s lives, said Feehan.

The levy will support the participation of Indigenous communities in climate leadership initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, stimulate green economic development, generate green jobs, and lower costs from burning fossil fuels.

“The way it’s going to help citizens most is that we are actually going to take care of the environment, which I think Indigenous people have been asking us to do.”

He said people who are on the ground, or out in the community every day, out on the land on a regular basis will have ideas, thoughts, histories and knowledges that the province might not get from other places.

“We are hoping that all of that knowledge, all of that experience will be brought forth and help us put together a good program.”

The province is also inviting Indigenous communities and organizations to provide written submissions. The deadline for the online survey and written submissions is April 30, 2017.

Click here for the survey:

And a guide for the written submissions can be found here:

To listen to the Jeremy Harpe CFWE-FM interview click here:

CFWE-FM is the sister station of, both are owned and operated by the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta. #ListenLive: