To highlight the work CREation Grantees are doing in their communities, the CREation Community Grants Team sends out Q&A forms so they can share their experiences creating and carrying out their projects. Today we are featuring responses from Nhattan Nguyen of Muskrat Collective – BIPOC2COP. Other youth leads: Carlee Loft and Jordyn Burnouf
Community: National (virtual) – based out of Kahnawake, QC
Q : Tell us about your group and project!
A : The BIPOC2COP Project is a peer-support initiative, by and for BIPOC youth, launched in 2021 as a resource for Indigenous and racialized youth participating in the yearly United Nations climate change conferences.
The project builds on over a decade of experiences from Indigenous, racialized, and youth climate activists in so-called Canada who have been advocating for climate justice in the yearly Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). At these conferences, governments from around the world discuss global cooperation in the fight against climate change.
Q : As the youth running the project, what impact do you hope it will have?
A : These are our short- and long-term objectives:
- Ensure effective and safer participation at upcoming climate COPs for BIPOC delegates from so-called Canada, especially youth, by providing mentorship and training.
- Support intersectional movement building by connecting youth from different BIPOC groups and communities.
- Decolonize Canadian civil society participation at COP by claiming more space for BIPOC voices from white settler organizations and uplifting Indigenous-led solutions.
- Build power, experiences, and relationships among young Indigenous and racialized leaders so they can reclaim key leadership roles in the climate movement.
“I felt nervous when I was originally selected to attend COP, however with the pre-conversations, I felt I had a good understanding of what was happening. On the ground when I was at COP, I felt I had a mini community of people to support me because of the relationships built during the lead up.”Participant feedback
Q : What is something you have learned?
A : Aside from the impact of our logistical preparations and trainings, the social events and gatherings were deeply meaningful to the youth delegates we supported. This is an important learning for us, and we now know to create more opportunities for connection and relationship-building for future events!
“Attending COP27 has inspired me to advocate for my lands and waters at every level of society and government.”Participant feedback
Q : What is your favourite moment from running your project?
A : We had many opportunities to ground ourselves in culture and ceremony during multiple stressful instances at the conference. These were opportunities that were offered because, unlike at any other international event, we had the chance this year to connect to local nations and build relationships.
We are so proud of the heart-work our young relatives like Nhattan Nguyen, Carlee Loft, and Jordyn Burnouf from the Muskrat Collective team are doing across Turtle Island and are so lucky to be able to support them in their work.