B.C. had gone through one natural disaster after another in the past few years. From fires and heat domes, to atmospheric rivers, nature continuously made its wrath felt. These series of events, however, aren’t one off, as similar ones have been plaguing other parts of the world. This is a trend that the United Nations (UN) want to address during their Conference of the Parties (COP27) event in Egypt this year.

“We have to upscale ourselves and look deeper, broader, further into what’s really happening with the world,” said Upper Nicola Chief Harvey McLeod

McLeod, who is also a Director for the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, will be en route tomorrow to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to attend COP27 as part of the delegation. 

“It’s the first big international convention that I’ve ever attended,” he said.  “The work that I do both regionally and nationally, on climate change, gave me the opportunity to attend on behalf of the assembly.” 

The conference began on Sunday, November 6, and will continue until Friday, November 18. McLeodwill be joined by  Regional Chief Terry Teegee, Chief Judy Wilson, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, B.C. Forestry Council, and Assembly of First Nations.

“We’re looking to bring a some enlightenment at the United Nations and say ‘hey, we’re people and we have concerns, and we want to be involved when it comes to making the corrections that we, as people, have to make to ensure that our environment survives,” Mcleod said.

The group is set to do a presentation, discussing the recent climate disasters in B.C. as well as his work on alternative energy with the Upper Nicola Indian Band. 

“We are so close to having our solar farms going,” he said. “We’ve got all of our partners in line, our lawyers are busy right now, and we have our purchase agreement with B.C. Hydro. We’re so close to saying ‘lets put our shovels on the ground and get this thing built.” 

The Band is working on a 15 MW solar farm in partnership with Okanagan Nation Alliance and Fortis BC. 

“It’s an alternative to acquiring electrical energy,” he explained. “We have also signed new engineers to pull carbon out of the air and transfer it into fuel.” 

COP27 aims to ensure the full implementation of the Paris Agreement that was put into force back in 2016. The agreement’s goal is to limit global warming to 1.5?.  

“As an aboriginal person, we are stewards of the land,” he said. “We have to help mother earth, help clean up and allow her to survive. It’s up to individuals, it’s up to communities, and it’s up to government to say ‘hey we’ve got to do something here, if not, then there’s not going to be a lot of opportunities for the next generations to come.”