Attawapiskat | First Nations | Fort Albany | In the News | Mushkegowuk
Climate change impacts in northern Ontario show rivers need protection

Originally published in The Guardian

August 7, 2019

Climate change works in insidious ways, altering ecosystems in ways you don’t notice until change is all around you and you are struggling to adapt on land and water you thought you knew.

As part of the Star’s series on climate change, I wrote about the annual flooding of the Albany River and the impacts it has on the people living in the First Nation communities of Fort Albany and Kashechewan. As the Earth’s temperature rises, the changes to the river basins around Hudson and James Bay are profound — earlier springs, shorter winters, reduced ice-road time and changes to hunting and cultural practices. All are occurring due to the effects of the callous practices of countries such as ours and the Indigenous peoples in the north feel it the most.

Inside the waters of the Albany, you can see the evidence of the south’s damage on our climate. The changes to the fish habitat in the northern rivers, lakes and bodies of water are especially profound for First Nations people who rely on the water for fish — a protein staple in our diet. In summer, everyone is out in a boat, fishing to fill the freezer for the long winter ahead.

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