Media Enquiries: Patricia D’Souza, Senior Communications Officer
Tel: 613.292.4482

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Natan Obed to attend COP 21 on the Official Canadian Delegation

Media Release: November 30, 2015

Ottawa, ON, November 26, 2015 –Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Natan Obed has been invited by the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, to attend the COP 21 meetings in Paris as part of Canada’s Official Delegation.

“It is an honour to be asked by the Minister to participate in the Paris Climate Conference to represent the views of Canadian Inuit on climate change,” said President Obed.

Inuit were among the first to directly experience and describe the impacts associated with a changing climate in the Arctic and on our way of life.  Inuit have called for actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for decades. We are a people who understand and appreciate that climate change is likely to become another key driver of massive societal change if concerted global actions are not taken. Inuit across Inuit Nunangat have direct experience with the severe and growing consequences of melting permafrost and coastal erosion on our communities, and Inuit food security is increasingly affected by climate change impacts on our subsistence activities.

There are major scientific gaps in understanding arctic ecosystems and the present and potential impacts of climate change on Inuit, so it is vital that action be taken now to increase the resources available to allow Inuit to not only understand how our world is changing but also to adapt to climate impacts. We need to create long-term sustainable solutions that allow our communities to thrive.

The Canadian Inuit homeland, Inuit Nunangat, includes half of Canada’s coastline. The land claim agreements that govern this area provide the architecture for the sustainable development of a large portion of Canada’s Arctic. It is imperative that Inuit knowledge, priorities and the primacy of their governance of their homelands loom large in any discussion of the Arctic’s future.

“We must now, collectively, work together to find solutions to not only mitigate the further progression and impacts of climate change, but to provide support to those who are already facing direct and significant impacts.  Paris is a key climate summit, and I will be focused on contributing to Canada’s presence by working on creating positive outcomes for the Arctic, which in turn will benefit all nations.”

For more information or to speak to President Obed, please call:
Patricia D’Souza
Senior Communications Officer
613-238-8181 ext 276