Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada (Apr 2019)

Commentary - The Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program: Indigenous climate leaders’ championing adaptation efforts

  • Gabrielle Richards,
  • Jim Frehs,
  • Erin Myers,
  • Marilyn Van Bibber

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 39, no. 4
pp. 127 – 130


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The Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program (CCHAP) is a program within the First Nations Inuit Health Branch of Indigenous Services Canada (which was previously under the responsibility of Health Canada). The CCHAP supports Inuit and First Nation communities in mitigating and adapting to the health impacts of climate change. The impacts of climate change on Indigenous health can be observed in multiple areas including, but not limited to, food security, cultural medicines, mental health and landbased practices. This program seeks to address the needs of climate change and health in First Nation and Inuit communities to support resiliency and adaptation to a changing climate both now and in the future through its emphasis on youth and capacity building. The commentary is based on the Program’s eleven years of experience working with and for Indigenous communities and provides an overview of the CCHAP model and the work it has and continues to support. This paper demonstrates three examples of community-based projects to mitigate and adapt to the health impacts of climate change to demonstrate climate change resiliency within Indigenous communities.