Federal climate-change policies have largely ignored the effects of global warming on First Nations’ access to traditional food, leaving Indigenous people increasingly vulnerable to food shortages and related health problems, according to an 18-month study by an international human rights agency.
The Human Rights Watch report details the myriad challenges First Nations people are confronting with greater frequency when trying to acquire healthy food – from thin ice cover on traditional hunting routes to biodiversity loss, unpredictable winter roads, shorter hunting seasons and lower yields of fish in waters that not long ago boasted bountiful stocks.
First Nations people who live off the land are bearing the brunt of the effects of climate change on food security, the report says.
It notes that Canada is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, with the country’s North warming even more quickly, at almost three times the global rate.
The federal government has made a number of promises regarding climate change and food scarcity. In a Speech from the Throne last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed to working with First Nations to address food insecurity.
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