Climate change adaptation by the Georgina Island First Nation

Georgina Island First Nation, located along the east shore of Lake Simcoe, is dealing with a number of climate impacts that have disrupted the community. In response, the First Nation embarked on a community-based project in 2012 that collected and used Indigenous Knowledge as the foundation for climate change adaptation planning and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Through one-on-one interviews with the liaison, community Elders, adults and youth shared their knowledge about changes in weather and climate, and how these changes have impacted their community. Bingo information sessions, interactive workshops and day-to-day interactions with community members provided opportunities to learn and provide feedback about the project and results. The project developed 67 recommendations, all of which were vetted by the community, and a plan to implement them. One of the first recommendations to be implemented was the restoration of a creek that at one time flowed for nine months of the year, but had dried up in recent years. Following the success of the project in their own community, Georgina Island First Nation reached out to neighbours within their Tribal Council and, using the same model, the community adaptation liaison and project partners have helped four other First Nation communities to start the climate change adaptation planning process.

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