April 21, 2017
(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde issued the following statement in advance of Earth Day, which will be celebrated April 22:
“Mother Earth is warming. She needs our help to heal so that we can all stay healthy and continue to enjoy the beauty and riches she provides. First Nations have both rights and responsibilities to the lands and waters. Our Indigenous worldview compels us to convey the message that we all must come together globally and work collectively to heal Mother Earth. We must act here in Canada, in the United States and around the world to protect our lands and waters, our traditional foods and sacred places, for future generations. First Nations are the first to feel the impacts of climate change. Our Traditional Knowledge is an important part of the solution to climate change.
Finding the right balance is the key. We must move away from development that contributes to global warming and embrace clean, green energy solutions. First Nations in Canada are leading the way in alternative energy projects, which are now the largest single sectoral driver of First Nations’ economic development and independence. Respecting our rights, our peoples, our territories and our knowledge is key to healing Mother Earth.”
Earth Day, founded in 1990, is celebrated every April 22. It is the largest environmental event in the world. The goal is to foster and celebrate environmental respect, action and behavior change that lessens our impact on the earth. This year, celebrations across the country are highlighting the great outdoors through Earth Day Canada’s Earth PLAY for Earth Day 2017: Connect to your nature! For more information visit: http://www.earthday.ca/
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
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