November 2, 2021
UBCIC Joins Indigenous Peoples Demanding Climate Action at COP26
(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – November 2, 2021) Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) and Chief of Neskonlith, is attending the 26th Conference of Parties in Glasgow; the climate summit has been widely considered to be humanity’s “last chance” for international coordination on limiting the heating of earth’s climate to fewer than 1.5 degrees Celsius and maintaining a livable planet.
The UBCIC has a strong mandate from membership to take action on the climate emergency and demand that Canada’s climate change planning be done in conjunction with Indigenous peoples and stop the further expansion of fossil fuel production and export. While at COP26, Kukpi7 Wilson will bring the voice of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs to the international stage, pursuing greater substantive commitments on the interrelated crises of climate change and biodiversity and greater recognition of the role of Indigenous rights in addressing these issues. She looks forward to meeting with Indigenous climate leaders and organizers from around the world in her capacity as a member of the Assembly of First Nations’ Advisory Committee on Climate Action and the Environment. In addition, Kukpi7 Wilson is scheduled to meet with federal and provincial officials to advance climate commitments at the local level and speak the truth about the need for drastic change.
Kukpi7 Wilson stated, “Nations around the world look to the G20 leaders to lead by example and as we are pushed to the brink of climate collapse, they can no longer afford to show up at highly publicized conferences and make promises and statements of change, only to continue to go down the emissions intensive path once home.” Kukpi7 Wilson stands in solidarity with many Indigenous peoples and leaders from across the Global South who at the World Leaders Summit decried the lack of substantive action on climate from wealthy nations. For example, Prime Minister Trudeau announced intentions to cap emissions from Canada’s oil and gas sector, but with no new targets for the country’s overall emissions. Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley described net-zero pledges without practical policies to actually reduce emissions as “at best reckless and at worst, dangerous.” Kukpi7 Wilson calls on G20 leaders to heed the words of Prime Minister Mottley and move beyond appeasement statements to sustained action, particularly as attendance by the G20 leaders at the summit dwindled after the wealthy nations made their customary ambitious but hollow statements.
Kukpi7 Wilson acknowledges the work of the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change for hosting and organizing a space at COP26 for Indigenous peoples to meet, dialogue, and engage in substantive discussions on their rights amid the climate crisis. One such event was a gathering of Indigenous youth from around the world who had travelled to Glasgow to raise their voices in the fight to defend their future. Kukpi7 Wilson acknowledged and encouraged the youth delegates: “You are not alone. Your ancestors are with you. Your grandmothers and grandfathers are with you. Your leaders are with you.” Fawn Sharp, President of the National Congress of American Indians, also shared words of encouragement with the gathering. Kukpi7 Wilson plans to follow up with the NCAI on collaborative climate actions on both sides of the Medicine Line.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, +1 250-490-5314
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President, +1 250-813-3315
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer, c/o +1 249-878-2720
UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
For more information, please visit www.ubcic.bc.ca