Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox was honoured as one the 2018 “Canada’s Clean50” sustainability leaders for his leadership on climate change during the Clean50 Summit 7.0 in Toronto today.
“I am honoured to accept this award on behalf of the leaders and citizens of our 49 First Nation communities who have preserved our homelands for centuries. The effects of climate change are being felt across NAN territory. I have enjoyed working on the land to raise awareness and mitigate the impacts to our people and communities,” said Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox. “NAN First Nations are the stewards of the land and our territory will be a key part of any efforts to address climate change. We are committed to developing collaborative approaches that respect our Aboriginal and Treaty rights.”
Deputy Grand Chief Fox spearheaded NAN’s Kanimayakiiwebuk (As Things Change) climate change initiative – traveling extensively across NAN territory to educate and coordinate on mitigation and adaptation efforts. He utilized social media to bridge geographic challenges, engaging NAN’s 49 First Nation communities in series of challenges and rewards to promote Earth Day by connecting with 65,000 people via Facebook.
Through keynote addresses and presentations at Queen’s Park and across the Province, he has enhanced awareness of the impacts of climate change on First Nations and advocates for traditional ecological knowledge to be incorporated in climate change legislation.
NAN territory encompasses a land mass of approximately 544,000 square kilometers, two-thirds of the area of Ontario. Its boreal forest is one of the world’s largest carbon sinks.
Founded in 2011, Canada’s Clean50 Awards and Clean50 Summit provides a means of bringing together thought leaders and environmental experts to tackle sustainability problems, and to recognize and promote their accomplishments in the hopes of inspiring action by others.