For nearly two decades, the Tŝilhqot’in people have been living amidst arguably one of the most stark, catastrophic, and rapidly spreading reminder of climate change – the mountain pine beetle epidemic. These and other changes have the potential to threaten the Tŝilhqot’in way of life and their traditional practices, knowledge and beliefs.
Tŝilhqot’in resilience to future changes is grounded in their traditional knowledge and understanding of their lands and natural environment. Thus, by working with elders and other community members from five First Nations in the Central Interior of British Columbia, ESSA helped the Tŝilhqot’in National Government identify a path forward for individuals, households, and communities to better adapt to future climate. Participatory approaches, extensive community engagement and outreach, awareness‐raising activities, elder interviews, community discussions, and a comprehensive literature review were used to gather information on observed impacts and key vulnerabilities across the Territory. This information was combined with technical studies to inform communities about climate change projections and the related biophysical impacts on water, forests, and fish, among other issues.
The resulting report presents adaptation options with relevance to the Territory and is meant to be the first step in a planning process to better prepare Tŝilhqot’in communities to future climate.