Treaty No 6 – Alberta Canada’s only Indigenous-led climate justice organization, Indigenous Climate Action, is welcoming Eriel Tchekwie Deranger as the organization’s first Executive Director. Deranger was a founding member of Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) and spent two years in the role of interim director, helping to build the strategic direction of the organization. A member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation(ACFN), Deranger has a far reaching reputation for challenging fossil fuel development and championing the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“We are thrilled to have Eriel officially take on the Executive Director role for Indigenous Climate Action,” explained Katsi’tsakwas Ellen Gabriel, Turtle clan from Kanehsatà:ke of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation and ICA Steering Committee Member. “At ICA we know that our strength lies in our action not just our words, Eriel is the perfect person to be driving forward our network and ensure Indigenous knowledge and voices are integral to all future climate solutions.”
Deranger has over a decade of experience working with environmental organizations as well as front-line Indigenous knowledge holders, water protectors and land defenders across Turtle Island. More recently, Deranger worked for her Nation as the strategic Communications and Climate Change Coordinator. She is an active member of the UN Indigenous Peoples Caucus and sought after globally as an opinion leader on climate change and Indigenous rights.
“Eriel has a proven ability to navigate between government boardrooms, non-profit conference halls, and the front lines of environmental justice movements while maintaining her integrity and commitment to the rights of our peoples,” commented Clayton Thomas Muller of 350.org. “With Eriel at the helm of ICA, we are one step closer to a just transition away from fossil fuels that is lead by Indigenous communities.”
Avi Lewis, strategic director of The Leap, said “The emergence of an Indigenous-led climate organization is a major development in the struggle for climate justice in Canada, and Eriel will lead it with integrity and relentless drive.” Added author Naomi Klein, “Eriel brings visionary leadership, infused with ecological urgency and unshakeable moral clarity.”
“Indigenous communities across Canada are already leaders in climate mitigation, adaptation and building real solutions. Many of the solutions and strategies created by Indigenous communities aren’t always apparent or recognized, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t as vital.” emphasized Eriel Deranger, ICA’s first Executive Director.
“Existing Indigenous climate action can be seen in the success of communities challenging industrial development[i], and asserting Indigenous sovereignty that acts as a buffer to climate change impacts,” explained Deranger. “This coupled with Indigenous-owned renewable energy development[ii] and the innumerable community based monitoring and land guardian programs[iii] ensures community and cultural survival in an era of extreme climate change.”
With Deranger’s new appointment, comes an ambitious work-plan including the process of hiring core staff[iv] to undertake the development of an Indigenous Knowledge Climate Change Toolkit, and furthering community engagement with gatherings and webinars that support and advocate for Indigenous led climate action in Canada.
“Indigenous Climate Action is created by and led by Indigenous Peoples to organize an Indigenous response to both the drivers of and the impacts of climate change, and real solutions for a future we can all benefit from. Now more than ever true leadership stemming from the original carriers of Indigenous traditional knowledge (ITK) is needed at forefront the global movement for climate justice,” concluded Deranger.
For more information or arrange interviews with Indigenous Climate Action please contact:
Michelle Myers, Communications Intern, ICA
Cell: 780-232-2105 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheila Muxlow, Communications Support, ICA
Cell: 587-357-9111 Email: email@example.com
Eriel Deranger, Executive Director, ICA
Cell: 780-215-3915 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Clayton Thomas Muller Stop-it-at-the-Source Campaigner 350.org/ICA Steering committee member
Cell: 613 297 7515 Email: email@example.com
To arrange interviews with Naomi Klein or Avi Lewis:
Jackie Joiner, The Leap,
Cell: 905-919-1377 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Indigenous Climate Action: Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) was formed in 2015 with the intention of connecting Indigenous water protectors, knowledge holders and land defenders, inspiring action for environmental justice, and supporting Indigenous communities in leading solutions to climate change. Using face to face meetings and online platforms, ICA provides interactive and educational opportunities about climate change and the intersections with Indigenous culture and rights.
For more information about Indigenous Climate Action and to join our network and stay informed visit: the rest of our website
[i] B.C. indigenous groups celebrate cancellation of massive LNG facility on Lelu Island; Inuit leaders applaud landmark Supreme Court ruling; Momentous decision to right historic wrong at Grassy Narrows; ‘Whatever it takes to stop them:’ Tsleil-Waututh hold water ceremony in opposition to Kinder Morgan; UNIST’OT’EN CAMP | Heal the People, Heal the Land; Sask. First Nations concerned over Line 3 pipeline project; Grand Chief of Wolastoq Council in New Brunswick says pipeline too risky; Tensions rise over Muskrat Falls project after jailing of Inuit activists; Nova Scotia: Mi’kmaq Elders work to protect Shubenacadie River estuary
[ii] Louis Bull First Nation in Alberta goes solar;
T’Sou-ke First Nation: A Leader in the Innovative Use of Renewable Energy in Canada;
Lubicon Lake Band Piitapan Solar Project
Indigenous Renewable Energy Database
[iii] Indigenous Leadership Initiative, Indigenous Guardians Programs
[iv] ICA is hiring a toolkit coordinator, funding coordinator, communications coordinator as well as a part time administrative assistant.