On March 1 and 2, 2022, the Indigenous Centre for Cumulative Effects (ICCE) hosted its second virtual conference. Close to 200 registrants from First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities across Canada, came together to better understand cumulative effects and their potential impacts on their people and territories.
This was the second ICCE virtual conference, dedicated to sharing information, building awareness and new tools to foster an enhanced understanding of cumulative effects.
ICCE Board of Directors Chair, Leona Irons reflected on the conference theme that explored the links between cumulative effects and the health and well-being of Indigenous communities.
“The theme for this conference is a health and well-being perspective,” said Chairperson Leona Irons from Curve Lake First Nation. “We heard from guest speakers, coast-to-coast, and learned from an Indigenous point of view the links between a healthy environment and a healthy community.”
The keynote speakers included:
• Mark Podlasly, of the Nlaka’pamux Nation speaking about Indigenous Concepts of Well-Being: Sustainable Economies, Sustainable Futures; and
• Dr. Klemetti Näkkäläjärvi, of the Saami Nation speaking about Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Effects of Climate Change to the Culture, Health and Well-Being of Saami in Finland.
“We’ve been blessed with a truly amazing group of speakers,” said Leea Litzgus, Executive Director of ICCE. “The speakers have decades of experience in their fields. They have enriched us with their knowledge, energy and commitment to managing cumulative effects and improving health and well-being for all of us.”
The 2-day conference featured a number of presentations from a diverse group of Indigenous speakers.
Day 1 sessions focussed on:
• Restoring Connections Between Lands, Waters and Well-Being;
• Protecting Our Waters: Eagle Lake First Nation’s Approach to Aquatic Monitoring;
• Considering Well-Being and Indigenous Knowledge in Impact Assessments; and
• Supporting Indigenous Communities in Canada Through Interactions with Project Proponents.
Day 2 sessions focussed on:
• Cumulative Effects on the Different Dimensions of Indigenous Health; and
• Qwelminte Secwepemc, #TeamSku7pecen Intern Program: Cumulative Effects and Well-Being.
Day 2 also featured an inspiring Indigenous youth panel with youth from the Anishinaabe, Atikamekw and Inuk nations.
Although this conference was virtual, ICCE is planning to return to a pre-pandemic format in 2023.
“Someday soon, we hope that the Indigenous Conference on Cumulative Effects will be an in-person, face-to-face gathering hosted in one of your territories,” said Leea Litzgus. “I miss getting to visit with people, hearing your stories, and sharing our knowledge in the ways of our ancestors.”