“If you were to get lost in the bush, I could find you.”
It’s an oddly placed sentiment in the city heat of Marrakech, Morocco, yet an entirely appropriate one for an indigenous panel at the UN climate talks hosted by Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna.
Francois Paulette, revered Canadian indigenous leader and elder from the Dene Nation, told an international crowd of delegates, campaigners and press that back in Canada, his place is in the wild.
It is there Paulette learned from his elders the meaning of sin: “The biggest sin a man can make is to abuse the earth.”
“And now that’s why we’re in the place we’re in and why there is global warming.”
Although Paulette said he is not one for the city — he’d rather be on a riverbank back home in the Northwest Territories — he’s no stranger to international diplomacy. At his sixth UN climate summit, Paulette is more determined than ever to ensure indigenous perspectives and rights are central to international climate plans.
By all appearances Canada seems determined to do the same.