Canada is on the frontline of climate change. Current climatic conditions are changing rapidly, and Indigenous communities are disproportionately affected by these changes. Reliable and consistent climate data is vital for Indigenous communities to assess current conditions and plan for the future.
The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) has partnered with Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) and Scout Engineering & Consulting Ltd. to develop a new guidance document that will support Indigenous communities that wish to take part in community-based climate monitoring.
Indigenous Peoples in Canada have been observing the local environment for millennia, even if the term “monitoring” has not been applied historically. Increasingly, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and western science are being considered equally for climate change adaptation planning and land-use planning, especially when operating in remote and northern regions.
This voluntary guidance document is one step toward supporting Indigenous partners in undertaking self-determined climate monitoring while considering the co-application of Indigenous Knowledge Systems and western science to help monitor and adapt to a changing climate.
Once completed, the document will:
- provide voluntary guidance on how to collect, record, and validate data related to key physical climate variables (e.g., temperature, precipitation, sea ice thickness); and
- outline best practices for the recording, storage, and sharing of Indigenous climate knowledge while respecting Indigenous principles for data collection, analysis and management, ownership, control and sharing.
“We look forward to supporting the development of this guidance document in partnership with Indigenous Peoples, climate scientists, CIRNAC, and Scout Engineering. By bringing together diverse knowledge and perspectives in an inclusive way, we are helping create tools so that Indigenous Knowledge and western science can together support Indigenous Peoples’ climate monitoring and adaptation efforts”. – Chantal Guay, CEO of the Standards Council of Canada.
“Indigenous Peoples are disproportionately affected by climate change, particularly in the North and Arctic. Indigenous Peoples are seeing and experiencing the impacts of climate change first-hand. And they are also leaders in climate action, including climate monitoring and research. Indigenous-led climate monitoring and Indigenous Knowledge provide essential and unique information about the changing environment. The Government of Canada is supporting the development of tools that help enable Indigenous communities in monitoring and adapting to the rapidly changing climate as well as plan for future climate action.” – The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P., Minister of Northern Affairs
“Applying technology to the issues facing Indigenous communities and doing so in a way that allows for the parties involved to learn from each other is part of our core values as a company. The development of this guidance document and the adoption by Indigenous communities is a responsibility we embrace. Essential to our entire team is building trust in the process by which these practices are developed and that the expertise, perspectives, and priorities of Indigenous Communities are honored. - Steven Vaivada, President of Scout Engineering & Consulting Ltd. and member of the Kainai-Blood Tribe
SCC and CIRNAC will work closely with Scout Engineering and a steering committee of Indigenous representatives and science-based knowledge holders to determine the final best practices that will be included in the guide. The guidance document is expected to be completed in the summer of 2022.
About the Standards Council of Canada
Established in 1970 as a federal Crown corporation, the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is Canada’s voice on standards and accreditation on the national and international stage. SCC works closely with a vast network of partners to promote the development of effective and efficient standards that protect the health, safety and well-being of Canadians while helping businesses prosper. As Canada’s leading accreditation organization, SCC creates market confidence at home and abroad by ensuring that conformity assessment bodies meet the highest national and international standards. SCC advances Canada’s interest on the international scene as a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) by connecting thousands of people to global networks and resources, opening a world of possibilities for Canadians and businesses.
About Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC)
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) is one of two new departments created after Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada was dissolved in 2017. The other department created was Indigenous Services Canada. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada continues to renew the nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, government-to-government relationships between Canada and First Nations, Inuit and Métis; modernize Government of Canada structures to enable Indigenous Peoples to build capacity and support their vision of self-determination; and lead the Government of Canada's work in the North.
About Scout Engineering
Scout Engineering & Consulting Ltd. (Scout) is a recognized leader in the delivery of projects in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples. Their unique approach is captured in the motto, “Innovating the Indigenous Future”, and incorporates new concepts such as Technological Stewardship, Trust Consulting, and Collaborative Wisdom. Said another way, Scout applies new technology to the issues facing Indigenous communities, while building trust between disparate groups, and facilitating the sharing and development of knowledge between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Additional information is available at www.scoutengg.com, Scout is 100% owned and operated by a member of the Kainai – Blood Tribe.