135° W, Yukon, Canada

Longitudinal Installation by Xavier Cortada

“The weather is really unpredictable and the ice freezes much later and breaks up earlier. There are more incidents of hunters falling through the ice.”

— Kik Shappa, Hunter, Griese Fiord, Canada

Although all of Canada suffers from climate change, many of the more drastic effects have happened in the northern Canadian regions. Permafrost melting has caused extensive damage to infrastructure throughout. In 2004, twice the average forests were lost in fires. The thinning of ice had increased the danger for hunters to go out and find food. Yukon is warming up at twice the global rate, affecting the many traditional activities by indigenous peoples and their access to traditional foods.

An interesting phenomenon caused by climate change in Canada is the invasion of towns by wild wolves. Canadian wolves usually live from eating caribou, however, caribou migration has been affected by warming environments, meaning they won’t move to the zones they usually did in the past. This leaves wolves searching for new places for food, which includes nearby towns. Also, more recently, many of the Canadian lakes that are usually frozen are getting holes. Organic matter underneath these lakes is unfreezing and releasing methane, causing the lakes to melt even faster and form holes in these bodies of water that have not melted in past times. 

Many of the individuals living in Yukon do not want to leave their native lands, where they were born and raised for generations, however, these complications might force them to consider otherwise.