Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship releases draft summary Reconnection Vision and Action Plan
Whitehorse, Yukon – The Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship has released a Draft Summary Reconnection Vision and Action Plan (RVAP) for Engagement along with a short film about the plan and an engagement survey to hear from northerners about their relationship to reconnection in their lives and communities.
The 20-month Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship is comprised of 13 Yukon First Nations youth fellows from across the territory and aims to decolonize climate policy in the North by empowering youth to lead the charge.
Since January 2021, the Fellows who see themselves as the ‘Children of Tomorrow’ have been working diligently on the RVAP. The short film about the plan, available at yfnclimate.ca was made by fellow Jared Dulac and shares the philosophy, work and reconnection journeys of the Fellows.
The launch of the RVAP - Draft Summary for Engagement marks an important milestone for the Fellowship and a major accomplishment for the Children of Tomorrow. Through sharing conversations, ceremony, art, storytelling, they have deeply explored important questions about disconnection, reconnection, barriers to reconnection, climate action and the Yukon First Nation Final Agreements.
As the RVAP describes, “...the heart of climate change lies within our disconnection from Spirit, Self, Each Other and Earth. This disconnection is at the foundation of the systems we live, learn and work within. This is the root cause of climate change and what we must focus on changing and taking action upon”. The RVAP presents the philosophy of ‘Reconnection is Climate Action’ and the theory of change – where the Children of Tomorrow are developing a climate action plan rooted firmly and solely in the traditional values and teachings held sacred by Yukon First Nations. The goal of this action plan is to encourage all people in the Yukon, Canada, and beyond towards their own reconnection journey. The draft RVAP is a vision of what could be if we were all able to live whole and connected lives.
The Fellows are currently engaging with Yukon First Nation communities, governments, knowledge holders and grassroots organizations. Next steps include the launch of a Working Group of community leaders and visionaries to help the Fellows refine the RVAP and develop actions for the final plan. The final plan will be released in early 2023 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of ‘Together Today for our Children Tomorrow’ and the two-year anniversary of the Yukon First Nation Climate Action Gathering that was held in 2020.
The Draft Summary for Engagement along with an engagement questionnaire can be found on the Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship website at yfnclimate.ca/yfnrvap.
The Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship is stewarded in partnership between the Council of Yukon First Nations, Assembly of Yukon First Nations - Yukon Region, Youth climate Lab, RIVER and Yukon University. The Fellowship is co-lead by Yukon University’s Indigenous Knowledge Research Chair Jocelyn Joe-Strack and RIVER co-lead Jodi Gustafson.
I don’t carry an elected title or an appointed title, but I am privileged to walk with these leaders into their future. That is something that I’m very, very grateful for. – Elder Shirley Adamson, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council
I think it’s in spaces like these that you get to practice that mindfulness and practice strengthening the connection to the land. – Geehaadastee/ Shauna Yeomans-Lindstrom, Taku River Tlingit First Nation, Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellow
It’s been incredibly inspiring to be around the Fellows, and they truly give a sense of hope. It’s very, very rewarding work. – Jocelyn Joe Strack / Daqualama, Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship Steering Committee
It has been an honor to support these Fellows – the Children of Tomorrow – as they advance their reconnection journeys thus far. The work of climate reconnection can be very challenging, and these young First Nation climate leaders are driving solutions based on their values, shaping the holistic vision and approach to climate action that is needed in the Yukon, and beyond. I continue to admire and learn from the Children of Tomorrow as they strengthen their connections to themselves, their communities, and to the land, all while building towards the future that the ancestors imagined for us, and for generations to come. – Regional Chief Kluane Adamek, Assembly of First Nations Yukon Region
CYFN is proud to support the work of the fellowship that places our Youth at the forefront of climate action leadership. Empowering our Youth in leading the way to identify the path forward around climate action on behalf of Yukon First Nations people is essential. – Grand Chief Peter Johnston, Council of Yukon First Nations
(Image is from the video Reconnection by fellow Jared Dulac and shares the philosophy, work and reconnection journeys of the Fellows.)