Background - MN-S Indigenous Guardians Program
Through the execution of 19 community engagement meetings attended by a total of 500 citizens of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan and other stakeholders, we were able to talk about the effects of climate change. This information led to the examination of specific issues related to Prairie Resilience: A Made-in-Saskatchewan Climate Change Strategy as follows:
MN-S/Provincial Communication, Engagement and Partnerships
Climate and Weather
Water Quality, Quantity and Distribution
The viewpoint of Métis citizens in each theme was captured and discussed along with suggested actions to address issues. Actions and opportunities were then defined in the subsequent section.
MN-S suggests that it is capable and interested in the co-development currently available datasets as well as establish monitoring activities in areas that lack sufficient data coverage.
Throughout the process, it was noted that the community engagement sessions undertaken have been positive and productive. We feel that more engagement across a broad spectrum is warranted. Regularly scheduled engagement with the appropriate subject matter experts will allow and create a positive dialogue and ensures transparency between MN-S and the Province.
It is likely that climate change will increase the frequency and severity of many types of events that will require a community emergency response. The due diligence of the MN-S requires them to undertake and review community emergency response plans as a priority. MN-S is requesting that the Province provides capacity assistance and expertise to assess and update plans. This step should prove useful in reducing the risk of property damage and loss of life.
The MN-S communities believe that the increase in risk from extreme events caused by climate change, such as forest and grass fires and flooding, must be proactively addressed. The assessment and updating of community Emergency Response Plans (ERP) is a priority. The MN-S would like the province to indicate the resources available to conduct ERP assessments and updates. The above information and access will be useful to know for related programs such as FireSmart that could be accessed by communities. The considerable risk reduction in the potential loss of life and property can be achieved and will heighten the awareness of MN-S citizens to potential emergencies and how to react in an emergency.
The context of climate change anticipates that further engagement is warranted within the Métis communities. The information from this report must be returned to the community and assessed for future benefits. The basis of the feedback requires that focused follow up is necessary regarding local and regional specific interests. The MN-S considers the engagement process to be the beginning stage of regularly scheduled meetings. The methodology encourages communication, increased transparency and ensures that MN-S citizens are receiving information directly from governmental representatives.