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Morning plenary

Recognizing Indigenous Rights and Creating Climate Solutions


November 19, 2016 at 9am - 10:15am


Engineering Teaching & Learning Complex (ETLC), University of Alberta
with Eriel Deranger

Eriel Deranger will highlight the current climate crisis faced by Indigenous peoples of Alberta and the moral and legal obligation of governments to work with Indigenous peoples in building progressive and aggressive climate change solutions. The rights and knowledge of Indigenous peoples are internationally recognized and affirmed by the Canadian Constitution, Treaty and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). These rights have also been recognized within the international climate agreement, the Paris Accord, and highlight the urgent need to build climate change solutions that include Indigenous peoples.

Eriel Deranger is the communications and issues coordinator of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN). Eriel's work is focused on raising local and international consciousness on the resurgence of Indigenous sovereignty, the devastation caused by the fossil fuel industry’s extractive operations in Alberta’s tar sands, and the climate crisis. The ACFN works tirelessly to protect their people’s ancestral homelands in the boreal forest around Lake Athabasca downstream from the tar sands. Their work includes organized demonstrations, campaigns, lawsuits, and speaking to global audiences to defend her people's right to survive and the very future of life on this planet.