Indigenous Climate Health Action Program

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FNHA’s Indigenous Climate Health Action Program (ICHAP) supports First Nations leadership in reducing climate change impacts on health. 

Climate change affects physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health in many ways. Through ICHAP, communities can strengthen their climate health resilience by working together to improve the environmental, social, cultural and economic factors that affect their health and wellness. 

The Impact of Climate Change

Climate change can affect human health in two main ways: 

* By changing the severity or frequency of existing health problems. 

* By creating unprecedented or unanticipated health threats in places where they have not previously occurred. 

How Is Climate Health Affecting First Nations Health in BC?

Climate change affects health and wellness directly and indirectly. First Nations’ deep cultural connections to the land, water and air make many BC First Nations more susceptible to climate impacts on health and wellness. Over the past decades, BC First Nations communities have observed rapid changes in temperatures, weather patterns, and plant and animal behaviours. Higher temperatures, extreme weather conditions, sea level rise and acidification of waterbodies are all connected to climate change and influence health. 

Climate Change and First Nations Leadership

Climate change has created another opportunity for First Nations communities to demonstrate leadership. In August of 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledged the importance of Indigenous Knowledge in climate change adaptation and mitigation and stated that Indigenous values play a key role in building climate resilience. 

Project Components

​ICHAP funds climate action projects that are community driven and focus on health and wellness outcomes. Projects can focus on climate health in general or on developing a strategy or action plan to reduce climate change impacts on community health. Some examples of focus areas are:

* Food security and food sovereignty

* Access to the land

* Mental health

* Traditional medicine

* Traditional harvesting

* Water quality and quantity

How to Apply

Please see the ICHAP Proposal Application Guidelines for more information on how to submit your proposal. 

Our team is available to support your project along every step of the process.

Contact

Paivi Abernethy, Climate Change & Health Specialist

Email: Paivi.Abernethy@fnha.ca 

Phone: 250.208.6139  

FNHA Environmental Public Health Services

Email: Environmental.Health@fnha.ca ​

Resources 

ICHAP Proposal Application Guidelines​​​

ICHAP Fact Sheet​

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