7 Climate ImpactsAssessed
70+ Climate Adaptation ActionsPlanned
Bigstone Cree Nation received $80,000 for the completion of a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. The project was completed in the Climate Resilience Capacity Building Program, funded by the Government of Alberta.
Bigstone Cree Nation formed a Climate Change Committee and worked with Urban Systems to better understand the risks that climate change presents to the community, complete a climate risk assessment, and develop communication tools to build climate awareness within the community.
Located in Treaty 8 Territory and spanning six reserves, Bigstone Cree Nation is home to over 3900 members. Bigstone Cree Nation is taking steps to address the structural and social challenges that the realities of climate change present to the Nation.
Bigstone Cree Nation has already experienced a number of emergencies that are directly linked to climate change. The Nation has undertaken this work to better understand the likelihood of extreme events occurring in the future and develop adaptation measures in response.
A Climate Change Committee was formed with representatives of the health, public works, emergency management, housing, and lands departments as well as Elders and youth in the community.
The project team also held an Elders engagement session to understand their stories about how the community had experienced extreme events in the past, what has changed since then, and their concerns for the future of the Nation.
Based on input from the community together with climate data for the region, the following climate hazards were identified for a risk assessment: Extreme heat, Wildfires, Heavy snowfall, Drought, Overland flooding, Extreme cold, and Severe storms.
The Committee also developed a list of community components that would have an impact on community members if they were to be affected by these hazards: Culture; Natural Environment; Human Health; Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater systems; Transportation Network; Community Homes and Buildings; and components of the Nation’s Emergency Response system.
The final report includes a risk and vulnerability assessment matrix that includes actions the community can take to adapt and build resilience to each climate hazard.
The risk and vulnerability matrix will be used to better understand future infrastructure or social needs and to support future community and safety planning activities.
The project team also created posters and communication tools to share the results of this work with community members.
Through this project, the Committee gained a better understanding of what climate risks are present, and the potential adaptation measures that can be put in place to support community resilience.
The Committee also recorded the Elders’ experiences around climate change and gained an understanding about the anxieties that many community members face around a changing natural environment.
Interdepartmental discussions were also helpful in understanding what work has already been done and what is left to do to promote resiliency within the community.
The Nation is having many discussions about the future. This work informs all the planning activities that are being undertaken and ensures that all departments are looking at infrastructure through a lens of climate change adaptation and resiliency.
Just wanted you to know how grateful Bigstone Cree Nation Public Works is for all the support we have received from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre. Our staff worked together along with a few of our local elders and representatives from Urban Systems on this project. Our community now has somewhat better understanding and is responding to climate change. While we were all inspired by the work, we are also grateful and recognize much of this good work would not be possible without your support.Chris Beauregard, Director of Public Works
Read more about the Climate Resilience Capacity Building Program