Indigenous Communities

The Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik and Peskotomuhkati Nations of the Wabanaki Confederacy have occupied the Maritimes since time immemorial and have adapted to changes in climate and the environment over countless generations. Partnerships with, and leadership by, local Indigenous peoples is vital to ensuring that the knowledge, perspectives and experiences that they hold from living on the land, informs adaptation in their communities and in the region.

For Indigenous peoples, resilience is rooted in traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), as their capacity to adapt to environmental change is based first on their in-depth understanding of the land. As climate change increasingly impacts Indigenous landscapes and communities, responding early and adapting is key.

In the face of increasing climate instability, recognition of Indigenous rights and respectful two-way collaboration is the path forward to build better early warning systems and support local efforts towards building resilience.


  • Observe: Make careful observations about their lands, exchange information and experiences, and plan for the future.
  • Forest Management: These strategies involve setting aside conservation areas, woodcutting and watershed management zones, which have an important role to play in reversing the process of deforestation, thereby sequestering carbon and promoting sustainable development.
  • Protect: Re-examine strategies to protect culturally significant sites and infrastructure against climate variability and extremes.


Further Reading:

Waldron, Ingrid (2021). Environmental Racism and Climate Change: Determinants of Health in Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian Communities (Canadian Institute for Climate Choices)

The Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities & Community Health Project (The ENRICH Project):