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.
Climate change can affect human health in two main ways:
Climate change affects health and wellness directly and indirectly.
First Nations’ deep cultural connections to the land, water and air make many First Nations in BC 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 has created an 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.
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: