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10K Indigenous Climate Change Challenge


Land is and always has been fundamental for the health and cultural identity of Indigenous peoples, playing an essential role in wholistic healing and wellness. Culturally-safe land-based programs provide an opportunity for people to connect or re-connect with who they are, through living off the land, speaking the language and learning ways to live with and practice culture in the every day, through the sharing of traditional skills and stories by Elders and Knowledge Keepers1  

However, climate change is threatening to impact Indigenous communities and land-based activities disproportionately in the future.

“Climate change can disrupt Indigenous Peoples’ ability to hunt, fish, trap, forage, and spend time on the land, which can negatively affect their mental and emotional health and well-being.”2 

As part of the 10K Social Accountability Challenge, First Nations and Métis organizations can apply for one of five seed grants in the amount of $10,000.00 to counteract climate distress in their community using cultural strengths such as Indigenous and land-based knowledge, practices, and language as a foundation to empowering youth. Supporting youth is important because 

“…climate change has significant implications for the health and futures of children and young people, yet they have little power to limit its harm, making them vulnerable to increased climate anxiety…”3 

This seed funding is available to support Indigenous led community-based activities around climate change, focused on relationship building and knowledge sharing between youth and knowledge keepers and Elders. Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate that youth (up to age 25), knowledge keepers and Elders are strongly involved in shaping the project and that Indigenous culture, knowledge of the land, land-based activities, incorporation of Indigenous languages, Indigenous knowledge and/or Indigenous Science is central to their inquiry.

Project objectives should be aligned with at least three of the following Indigenous Climate Challenge objectives:

  1. Strengthen community connection and well-being through relationships with and knowledge of the land across generations.
  2. Create space for Indigenous youth voices and leadership related to the land, well-being, mental health in the face of climate change.
  3. Apply Indigenous cultural and/or land-based knowledge to strengthen Indigenous youth resilience in the face of climate change.
  4. Support the development of youth capacity to understand climate change using Indigenous science, traditional ecological knowledge and/or western.

Developing the Letter of Intent (LOI):

Please complete this LOI form.

When developing the LOI, please consider some of the following:

  • Does your organization have a strong relationship with Indigenous youth?
  • Do you have a trust-based relationship with Knowledge Keepers and/or Elders in the community who can support or mentor youth on the land?
  • Does your organization have an interest in culturally-based initiatives with youth on climate change that can support health and wellness?
  • Is there the possibility that this seed grant can lead to more activities in the future?

The deadline to submit the LOI is June 6th 2022. Please email the LOI by the application deadline of 4PM on June 6th 2022 to, using the subject line “Indigenous Climate Challenge.”

Your LOI should address at least one of the following research activities:

  • Identifying strengths in the community to address climate change in their community.
  • Increasing the understanding of the effect of climate change on Indigenous youth and cultural continuity.
  • Support youth in collecting information and leading inquiry (e.g. Indigenous Knowledge related to the land) within their community related to climate change.

Support for developing your proposal

If you require support or have questions, faculty at NOSM are available to support you (lead contact is Dr. Marion Maar, please email at

You do not have to partner with an academic institution for this proposal. If you do choose to partner with an academic institution, please ensure that the activities are strongly rooted in the community and that the information remains in the community to support future action.


You are eligible to apply if you are based in Northern Ontario and affiliated with at least one of the following:

  • An Indigenous organization that is a registered charitable organization or incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation
  • A First Nations community or agency
  • A Métis organization

Application Form

To apply, please complete the application form above and email it to


  1. Thunderbird Partnership Foundation. 2022. Wellness on the Land. Available at:
  2. Health Canada. 2022. Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action. Page 75. Available at
  3. Marks, Elizabeth and Hickman, Caroline and Pihkala, Panu and Clayton, Susan and Lewandowski, Eric R. and Mayall, Elouise E. and Wray, Britt and Mellor, Catriona and van Susteren, Lise. Young People’s Voices on Climate Anxiety, Government Betrayal and Moral Injury: A Global Phenomenon. Available at