The First Nations Children in a Changing Climate project combines Save the Children’s global expertise in child-focused disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation programming. Taking an innovative approach to understanding climate risk, the program involves participatory methods and incorporates local Indigenous knowledge and the voices of children.

The First Nations Children in a Changing Climate project has four clear objectives:

  1. Increased understanding of climate change impacts and risks, including who is vulnerable, why and how.
  2. Enhanced community resilience through child-friendly disaster management training.
  3. Increased capacity of the communities to conduct child-friendly and gender-sensitive community participatory planning for other future initiatives and projects.
  4. Increased sense of community ownership and leadership on climate change adaptation and disaster management.

Children and youth comprise a significant segment of First Nations, Metis, and Inuits community populations and are amongst those most affected by disasters and climate change. However, girls and boys tend to be the least consulted in vulnerability assessments, adaptation planning, and emergency management. The program design addresses this gap.

Local and Traditional Knowledge systems and practices are often neglected in climate change and emergency planning. First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Peoples possess a wealth of traditional ecological knowledge — through oral histories, hunting and fishing patterns, and other observations that come from calling a place home for millennia, this program honours that knowledge and incorporates it into program design.

Investing in community youth for a sustainable community planning. Through a comprehensive training, mentorship and hands-on experience, community youth acquire the knowledge and capacity to allow them to be the catalyst for their communities to create new community planning initiatives and projects using what they learnt by their active participation in the adaptation planning processes.