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Canada Fails to Boost Indigenous Knowledge at Lima Climate Meeting

The Canadian government is throwing a veil of secrecy over indigenous knowledge that could bring a deeper understanding of climate change and its impacts.

At UN climate talks in Lima, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq—the Member of Parliament for the majority-Inuit territory of Nunavut—hosted a meeting on indigenous knowledge. But she set it up as a private, invitation-only session, rather than a side event that would capture wider attention from the 190 countries attending the UN conference.

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“If they have a story to tell, the way to do it…is to hold a side event and publicize it,” said Canadian Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. “Canada has not raised indigenous knowledge in any formal sense where it could start making a difference at these meetings.”

At a separate event in Ottawa, meanwhile, the chief scientist for the new Canadian High Arctic Research Station said he “couldn’t answer detailed questions from reporters on the role of indigenous knowledge in the project without first getting permission from [the Department of] Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada,” Munson reports.