The project focuses on climate change impacts to Tsleil-Waututh reserve lands, also known as Burrard Inlet IR#3, which is the current village site for the Nation. Climate change impacts were considered for specific elements of the community identified as priorities by TWN staff and community members. Thirty-four elements were identified across six broad sectors: Ecological Systems, Archaeological & Cultural Heritage Sites, Land Use & Real Estate, Community & Cultural Health, Infrastructure & Community Services, Economy. A multi-hazard approach helped to build a more complete understanding of the hazards and their inter-connectedness (some hazards cause multiple impacts). Informed by community engagement, a values-based approach (investigation informed by community values) was used to focus analyses on elements of greatest importance to the TWN community. Methodologies used for Phase 1 were based on established best practices and models, including ICLEI-Canada’s Building Adaptive & Resilient Communities framework, Swinomish Climate Change Initiative, and the Source-Pathway-Receptor-Consequence model. Information on the current status and condition of TWN lands and waters was gathered, providing a baseline of current conditions to project future impacts from climate change. This data collection involves a combination of onsite investigations, background report reviews and conversations with staff and knowledge holders. Thirteen climate change-related hazards were identified as having the potential to impact Burrard Inlet IR #3, including coastal flooding, coastal erosion, ocean acidification, intertidal area change, harmful algal blooms, other ocean-related conditions, marine invasive species, creek flooding, creek erosion, urban flooding, extreme heat, wildfire, vector-borne diseases, and invasive species (land).
Climate change has the potential to profoundly impact the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN) and many key aspects of community life; extreme weather, increasing summer heat, and decreasing summer precipitation are all impacting the health and wellbeing of the TWN people. Climate change impacts such as extreme flooding, increasing occurrence and severity of wildfires, prolonged drought conditions, all pose community health risks and influence the ability of community members to practice traditional cultural ceremonies, harvesting, and share cultural teachings. Ocean changes are impacting the survival of clams and other marine food sources that are essential to the health of TWN people. The Community Climate Change Resilience Planning (CCCRP) project is leading TWN’s response to building adaptive capacity and community resilience and starts with developing an understanding of climate impacts, determining where areas of vulnerability, and using this information to chart an effective plan for action.