Climate Action Training

Climate Action Training is a web-based education opportunity for NWT youth who are looking to gain knowledge, skills, and resources to help face the climate crisis.

Sessions are being live-streamed throughout January and February and include presentations from some of the North’s best climate change leaders. This carbon free format also allows for participants to watch and re-watch the recorded live-streams. Recordings can be found here.

Following the training, we will be supporting youth to take climate action in their communities.

There is still an opportunity to join! Email for more info or fill out this online form to sign-up.

Session 1 – Climate Change Science

This session provides a good overview of the science of climate change: why is it happening, how do we know, what are the main contributing sources, and how are climate predictions made. Thank you to presenters Jennifer Hickman, Casey Beel, and Neils Weiss for sharing their knowledge with participants.

Watch Climate Action Training Session 1 – Climate Change Science

Session 2 – Northern Impacts

Special thanks to Climate Change Adaptation Expert Brian Sieben, and Permafrost Scientist Ashley Rudy. This session was full of great visuals and lots of information about how climate change is impacting the north. Learn about coastal erosion, forest fires, flooding, emergency planning, with a special focus on permafrost.

Watch Climate Action Training Session 2 – Northern Impacts

Session 3 – Community Action

Aklavik’s Senior Administrative Officer, Fred Berens, gave an excellent presentation about what Aklavik has done to help reduce the community energy use and tackle climate change mitigation. Noeline Villebrun talked about how important it is for northern youth to take climate action. To conclude the session, Craig Scott’s presented on the huge variety of ways northern communities can, and must, adapt to the changing climate.

Watch Climate Action Training Session 3 – Community Action

Session 4 – Climate Activism – February 5th, 2020

We will have three young climate activists sharing their stories on the front-line. Join Ella Kokelj, Daniel T’Seleie and Ellen Gillies as they document their experiences making change and highlight opportunities to get involved in climate action.

Watch Climate Action Training Session 4 – Climate Activism

Session 5 – Effective Communication – February 12th, 2020 at 6pm MST

Join APTN photojournalist, Charlotte Morrit- Jacobs, and Our Time’s Thomas Gagnon Van Leeuwin who will share with you media training and knowledge about how to amplify your message. As well as how to effectively communicate climate messaging.

Watch Climate Action Training Session 5 – Effective Communication

Session 6 – Northern Leadership – Feb 19th, 2020 at 6pm MST

This session will have a hopeful message of how the north can and must take an active leadership role in climate action. Join Dr. Courtney Howard (an internationally renowned climate and health advocate) and Jordan Peterson (the Deputy Grand Chief of the Gwich’in Tribal Council and an outspoken advocate for climate solutions led by youth). This inspiring duo will lead us on a journey to discover how and where the NWT can and should be front and centre in the national and international climate sphere.


On the implementation of a carbon tax in the Northwest Territories : recommendations – Ecology North’s response to the Government of the Northwest Territories’ discussion paper « Implementing Pan-Canadian Carbon Pricing in the Northwest Territories », September 2017.

Climate Change and Energy – Comments to the GNWT Energy and Climate Change ConsultationsThe GNWT recently undertook extensive consultations throughout the NWT’s five regions on Energy and Climate Change. These consultations will feed into the Strategic frameworks being developed by Public Works and Services (Energy) and Environment and Natural Resources (Climate Change). Ecology North’s Chloe Dragon Smith was at these consultation sessions. We developed this submission to the GNWT to help promote a rapid change to a low carbon economy in the NWT. Ecology North envisions a carbon tax being the key driver of this change, as it will transfer funds from polluters to projects that help northerners take advantage of innovative new technologies to reduce our cost of living. To learn more check out our submission here.

Intro to adaptation brochure – Adaptation is a process to keep things in balance, as other things change. The natural and human environment always adapt – to ongoing natural and man-made changes. This short brochure from 2008 describes the key steps and considerations for developing a community adaptation plan

Intro to Mitigation Brochure – This brochure is one of the earliest documents Ecology North published on the subject of Climate Change mitigation.

Integrating Climate Change Measures Into Municipal Planning and Decision Making; A guide for Northern Communities – This document was prepared by Ecology North and the Pembina institute for the NWT Association of Communities. It describes how climate change is affecting northern communities and describes a process for integrating these considerations into existing municipal planning processes.

Protocol to assess the vulnerability of northern water and wastewater systems to climate change impacts 2010 – The provision of clean drinking water and the effective management of wastewater (including solid waste leachate) are fundamentally important to maintaining environmental, social, and economic health. NWT communities should thus become involved in planning for and adapting to the impacts of climate change on water and wastewater systems. The first step in adapting to climate change impacts is an examination of the vulnerability of water and wastewater systems to climate change and the identification of adaptation priorities.

Ft McPherson Tetlit Gwich’in Adaptation Plan Environmental Scan – This scan is based on the research and process of writing the Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the community of Fort McPherson, NWT. The scan outlines research completed into background issues related to climate change impacts that may be affecting the community and more broadly the Gwich’in region.

Tetl’it Zheh Climate Change Adaptation Planning Project 2011 – The Fort McPherson Adaptation Project was initiated by Ecology North with the support of CS Environmental. It was loosely based on a process developed by the Northern Climate Exchange for the Dawson City Adaptation Plan (NCE, 2009). The resulting collaborative process drew knowledge and expertise from both the community and technical experts from the Northwest Territories

Ft Mcpherson profile – This document provides basic historical, geographic, and demographic information about Ft McPherson

Tetlit Gwich’in Climate Change Adaptation Plan Summary – This brochure summarizes the key aspects of the community’s Climate Change Adaptation plan

Gwichya Gwich’in Climate Change Adaptation Plan Brochure 2010– This brochure summarizes the key aspects of the community’s Climate Change Adaptation plan 

Gwichya Gwich’in Climate Change Adaptation Planning Project 2010 – The Tsiigehtchic Adaptation Project was loosely based on a process developed by the Northern Climate Exchange for the Dawson City Adaptation Plan (NCE. 2009). The resulting collaborative process drew knowledge and expertise from both the community and technical experts from the Northwest Territories.

Gwichya Gwich’in Climate Change Adaptation Implementation plan – This implementation plan outlines the recommended adaptations and attempts to provide a schedule and timeline for implementation of adaptation activities.

Tsiigehtchic community profile – This document provides basic historical, geographic, and demographic information about Tsiigehtchic.

Summary poster describing climate change impacts on Tsiigehtchic – This poster summarizes expected climate change impacts on the community of Tsiigehtchic in bullet form with graphics and images

Assessment of the vulnerability of Tsiigehtchic’s water and wastewater systems to climate change impacts – Ecology North worked with Tsiigehtchic to create a community climate change adaptation plan. This report assessing the vulnerability of its water and wastewater systems to the impacts of climate change is in addition to the community climate change adaptation plan.

Slope stability review and evaluation of stabilization  options for Church Hill Tsiigehtchic – EBA, A Tetra Tech Company (EBA) was contacted on April 14, 2010, by Doug Ritchie, Program Director of Ecology North, to provide a proposal to assist in developing climate change adaptations for the Charter Community of Tsiigehtchic, NT. In general accordance with EBA’s proposal of June 18, 2010, this report has been prepared as one of the deliverables of the project: to evaluate stabilization options for Church Hill

Behchoko Climate Change action plan The purpose of the Behchoko Climate Change Action Plan is to outline climate change
risks to the community, along with strategies and options for dealing with these risks. The plan also considers any opportunities that may be presented by climate change.

Bibliography of climate change research in Tlicho Region – As part of Ecology North’s work to support the Tlicho government and communities in regional community-based climate change planning, the following summary of existing and on-going scientific research on topics related to climate change in the Tlicho region was compiled.

Assessment of the vulnerability of Deline’s water and waste water systems to climate change impacts – Déline is a community of about 600 residents located on Great Bear Lake in the Sahtu Settlement Area of the Northwest Territories (NWT). Ecology North worked with Déline to assess the vulnerability of its water and wastewater systems to the impacts of climate change.

Assessment of the vulnerability of Wekweeti’s water and waste water systems to climate change impacts – Wekweètì is a community of about 150 residents located on Snare Lake in the Tlicho region of the Northwest Territories (NWT). Ecology North worked with Wekweètì to assess the vulnerability of its water and waste water systems to the impacts of climate change.

Climate change effects on buildings poster – A poster highlighting the risks to buildings in the north in a changing climate. 

Climate change and food poster – A poster highlighting the possible impacts of climate change on northern food security.

Climate Change and Transportation poster – A poster highlighting the risks posed by climate change to transportation in the north.

Climate change and water poster – a poster highlighting the risks posed by climate change to water in the north.

Climate Change Summary poster – A poster produced by Ecology North to summarize the main impacts of climate change on transportation, food, water and buildings in the north.

NWT Climate Change Leadership Summit: A Call to Action – Ecology North and the Dene Nation organized the NWT climate change leadership summit to inform leaders in the NWT about climate change impacts and to discuss adaptations.

Tlicho Climate Change book – Many Tlicho people agree that climate change is a front-burner issue that no one can ignore any longer. This handbook begins with an overview of northern climate change and introduces the two main ways we can respond to it: mitigation – fighting its causes – and adaptation –reducing its impacts.

Sustainable Event Guide

Are you a event coordinator, volunteer, event sponsor, or just a concerned citizen? Learn how you can help reduce the impact of public events, and what you should be expecting from events in Yellowknife.

This Sustainable Event Guide was designed for the City of Yellowknife to help make planning an environmentally-friendly event simple and straightforward to do; just follow the simple checklist for guidance on waste reduction and diversion, energy consumption, transportation and provision of NWT water.

Use this guide for all sorts of events! Private and public events, meetings, festivals, parades, races, and public assemblies!

Click the Link below to open the guide:

Yellowknife Sustainable Event Guide

Composting at Remote Northern Camps

Waste management can be a challenge for operators at remote northern camps. Transporting waste off site is expensive and often not feasible, especially in the NWT. Methods for waste management at these sites typically involve landfilling or incineration of mixed waste.

This project was completed for Environment and Climate Change Canada with the goal of producing a guide to composting at remote sites. Diverting waste from the landfill has many benefits including:

  • reducing wildlife interactions,
  • increasing worker safety,
  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and
  • reducing environmental impact of waste management at remote sites.

This is a resource for camp managers to understand and explore the options for composting at remote worksites in Northern Canada.

Guest Presentations

We work to bridge the gap between scientists and the public and have had a lot of fun hosting Speakers Nights with special guest scientists. Did you know that we have 8 species of bats in the NWT? Did you know that a 400 million year old fossil trackway was discovered in Hay River? Do you know how it feels to stand beside a life-size model of a whale? These events usually run once a month from October to March but come whenever we have funding or can catch hold of visiting scientists.

Keep an eye on the EN News for Speakers Nights announcements.

YK Pop-Up Park

Submit your ideas, become a sponsor at:

Pop-up parks are temporary parks that transform derelict lots into vibrant, usable spaces the whole community can enjoy. YK Pop-Up Park will have semi-permanent landscaped areas and public installations created by your neighbours and friends. The idea is that, seemingly overnight, we will create a  communal space downtown that everyone can enjoy.Ecology North, in partnership with the City of Yellowknife, is building a new park space and running a city-wide pop-up park competition on the empty lot between the Gold Range Hotel and the Raven Nightclub. We are inviting Yellowknifers to get involved and bring more colour and joy to the downtown core.

Fort Resolution Youth Water Monitoring Project

Ecology North, in collaboration with the community of Fort Resolution, including Deninu Kue First Nation, Fort Resolution Metis Council, Deninu School, GNWT ENR, and the University of Saskatchewan, helped to develop a pilot project aimed at engaging Fort Resolution youth in cumulative impacts assessments related to water. We saw an opportunity to build on ongoing research and monitoring efforts in Fort Resolution by developing a program to engage community youth in aquatic cumulative effects monitoring, while also linking to ongoing high school science curriculum.

The core focus of the project, in addition to ongoing collection of data to assess cumulative water impacts in the NWT, was youth capacity building. One of the key goals of the project was to encourage youth to become knowledgeable and interested in carrying out monitoring work in their communities with researchers, scientists, technical staff and community organizations.

The project was broken into four learning sessions, which were a series of workshop style sessions that combined western science and traditional knowledge, hands-on activities, instruction and break-out group work. Each session focused on a different part of the research and monitoring process and gave students an opportunity to learn and try out new skills. Three detailed curriculum resource templates pertaining to water, ice and fish were also developed as part of the project. The curriculum resources are designed to provide guidance, activities and information for teachers interested in incorporating activities that can reflect learning about cumulative effects.

Over the course of the project students developed their own individual research projects on a topic of interest to them. The projects were student-led and student-driven and followed an inquiry-based learning process that was part of the experiential science curriculum taught by Mr. Ted Moes at Deninu School.

The project was recently compiled into a book, titled “Learning About Our Environment: Experiences from a youth-focused environmental research and monitoring project in Fort Resolution NWT”. The book highlights the collaborative project – what we did and why we did it – but really focuses on the work of the high school students from Deninu School.

Canada Water Week

Canada Water Week 2017 in the NWT

Every year, water education plays a central role in Ecology North’s Canada Water Week celebrations. This year, during the month of March, we visited schools in the communities of Inuvik, Norman Wells, Hay River, Aklavik, and Tsiigehtchic, to deliver interactive water education sessions for K to Grade 12. We conducted tests for pH and chlorine, using our Mobile Water Quality Lab. This activity was very hands-on, visual and thus highly effective at engaging students in learning about different aspects of water quality. The importance of water and aquatics systems was also communicated through different games and strategies taken from the Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide. In total, approximately 230 students were reached by Ecology North’s school outreach activities. We received positive feedback from several teachers following our classroom visits. Here are some examples:

“Great activities…they engaged the students to learn more about water and how to protect water.” – Anonymous Exit Survey. Mackenzie Mountain School.

“The students were very engaged and wanted to volunteer. Great job!” – Anonymous Exit Survey. East Three Elementary School.

“Good student involvement – they loved it!” Anonymous Exit Survey. East Three Elementary School.

Ecology North also hosted and coordinated events in 9 different communities across the NWT. The events included film nights, our annual fish fry at the Snow Castle and a speaker panel. The panel discussion “Past, Present and Future of the Mackenzie River: A Discussion on Climate Change Impacts and Transboundary Waters” was hosted in collaboration with The Council of Canadians-NWT Chapter and the GNWT and it featured Bob Sandford as the keynote speaker for the evening. Panel members were Stephanie Yuill, Jennifer Fresque-Baxter, and Meaghan Beveridge with GNWT Environment and Natural Resources, and Catherine Lafferty with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.

“While I realize you have some real problems that cannot be ignored, I can honestly say that I come up here as frequently as I can so I can be reminded of the principles that must guide the rest of the world and the actions to which we must commit if we are to achieve any meaningful level of water security and water-related climate stability globally. I use your example to demonstrate that the path forward to sustainability must be a path of principle based not just on sound public policy but on an ethical imperative. Managing natural resources is not just about economics; it is also about our shared humanity and our shared future.” Bob Sandford, May 23rd 2017, Yellowknife, NT.

Canada Water Week is a celebration of water from coast-to-coast-to-coast, held annually in the third week of March to coincide with World Water Day on March 22. Every March for the past six years, Ecology North has organized a series of water-related events in recognition of Canada Water Week. Our events range from school visits and film screenings to community water tours, eco-theatre productions, a fish fry, water curriculum development and more!

Thanks to the Government of the Northwest Territories for their continued support.

Take a look below at some of the things we’ve done in past years:

Canada Water Week 2016 in the NWT

Water Week 2016 was another big success. During the month of March Ecology North staff visited 16 classrooms in 6 different communities to deliver various water programs and activities. Our toolkit of education activities included a hands-on mobile water quality testing kit, a 3-D model of the Yellowknife River Watershed, a large NWT Watershed Map, and many other activities. In total, we reached approximately 210 students with our school outreach activities.

In addition to education activities, Ecology North also coordinated and hosted various public community events to celebrate Canada Water Week. The overarching intent behind all of the events was to encourage northerners to learn more about and truly appreciate our local watersheds in the NWT. In total, Ecology North hosted and coordinated 9 events in 7 different communities. Our existing and new partnerships with various groups and organizations throughout the NWT made it possible to do this. The events included different film nights, water treatment plant tours, a fish fry and speaker events. In total, we reached more than 400 people with our community outreach activities.

Leading up to the month of March, Ecology North’s water week activities also involved carrying out a preliminary research study to gather information and statistics pertaining to bottled water consumption in the NWT. This research, which is summarized in a Background Research Report on Bottled Water Consumption in the NWT, led to the launch of our #loveNWTwater campaign. Take a look at our #loveNWTwater campaign page to get involved and see where we are at!

Trout Lake Source Water Protection Planning

During the year of 2014-2015 Ecology North had the opportunity to work with the Sambaa K’e Dene Band (SKDB) of Trout Lake to develop the first source water protection plan in the NWT! In response to growing concerns about their drinking water (i.e., climate change impacts, industrial development, and historic waste sites), Sambaa K’e opted to complete a community source water protection plan. The plan was completed through a collaborative partnership approach with Ecology North, SKDB and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENR), who provided both financial and technical support to help make the plan happen.

Source water refers to raw water from aquifers, streams or lakes that is used to supply drinking water systems. The purpose of source water protection planning is to prevent contaminants from entering a drinking water source prior to treatment, and thus it is often considered the first essential step to ensuring safe drinking water. The need for community source water protection planning is well recognized in the NWT Water Stewardship Strategy and Action Plan, and in 2012 GNWT ENR began taking the important initial steps towards addressing this need. The department hosted two community source water protection workshops to help introduce the concept of source water protection and build community capacity with respect to the development of community source water protection plans. The workshops also led to the development of a NWT Source Water Assessment and Protection Guidance Document, which is intended to help interested communities engage in source water protection planning.

The source water protection plan for Sambaa K’e is partly based on the NWT Source Water Assessment and Protection Guidance Document. The project brought Sambaa K’e community members and Elders together with watershed interest groups, government staff, and community staff to identify potential source water threats and to determine appropriate management actions to address those threats. In total, 21 potential contaminant sources were identified and mapped in the source water plan. A series of management actions, including hazardous waste remediation, were also prioritized and recorded in the plan. These management actions provide ongoing direction for future source water implementation initiatives in the community of Trout Lake.