Minister Vandal highlights Indigenous and northern leadership in keynote address at the Great Northern Festival’s “Climate Solutions Series” in Minneapolis

Minister Vandal highlights Indigenous and northern leadership in keynote address at the Great Northern Festival’s “Climate Solutions Series” in Minneapolis

Across Canada’s North, Indigenous and northern communities lead the way in addressing the challenges of climate change through adaptation, mitigation, and monitoring, along with supporting healthy and resilient ecosystems.
Today, Canada’s Minister of Northern Affairs, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, delivered a keynote address and participated in a question and answer session on Canada’s leadership on climate action at the Great Northern Festival.
The Great Northern Festival is an annual celebration that spotlights a wide variety of winter culture and activities. The Minister’s keynote address was part of the festival’s Climate Action Series, which features a wide range of voices exploring approaches to climate action.
In his address, Minister Vandal highlighted the actions of Indigenous, industry, government and local leaders in Canada who bring positive change to communities in the North and Arctic through their action on climate change.
Minister Vandal also outlined Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan, and federal support for research through Polar Knowledge Canada in partnership with Inuit Tapirit Kanatami. In addition, he highlighted Canada’s investments in key climate projects such as SmartICE technology—the worldʼs first climate change adaptation tool to integrate Indigenous knowledge of sea ice with advanced data acquisition and remote monitoring technology.
Canada’s leadership on climate action in the North and Arctic is guided by the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, and the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework.
The Government of Canada, Indigenous Peoples, and six territorial and provincial governments came together to co-develop, and are now co-implementing, the framework—a transformative vision of the future in which northern and Arctic people are thriving, strong and safe, and supported by healthy and resilient ecosystems.
The framework goals provide a broad foundation for addressing and mitigating the complex impacts of climate change on the people, infrastructure, and environment of the North.


“Canada is warming at twice the global rate, bringing challenges such as shoreline erosion, wildfire risk, and permafrost instability, especially in the North and Arctic where it is warming at three times the global rate. We are working together with provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners and Northern communities to prepare for, adapt, mitigate, monitor and respond to climate change using Indigenous Knowledge and science, while passing on important intergenerational skills and wisdom. I would like to thank the organizers of the Great Northern Festival for their Climate Solutions Series and for inviting Canada to highlight climate change challenges in the North and show how Indigenous and Northern communities are leading the way in addressing the climate crisis.”
The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs

Quick facts

  • As of September 2021, Canada has invested more than $164 million to support more than 754 projects in northern and Indigenous communities for initiatives to monitor and assess climate change impacts, implement structural and non-structural adaptation actions, offset diesel fuel use with renewable alternatives, and engage Indigenous people in climate policy discussions.
  • Through Budgets 2016 and 2017, as part of the Pan-Canadian Framework, $220.6 million was committed over five years to create five new programs (links below) through CIRNAC specifically to help address climate change in Indigenous and Northern communities.

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