Some attendees at a climate change summit held at the University of Regina this weekend are hoping to spark a shift in the way Saskatchewan talks about climate change.

The summit was held in response to a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report gave countries an ultimatum: Drastically cut emissions in the next 12 years, or suffer irreversible damage to the environment.

Jared Clarke, one of the speakers at the summit, hopes Saskatchewan will change its talk on climate change.

“Polling numbers show that we have a lot of climate change denial in this province compared to other places in Canada, so I think that conversation does need to be happening,” he said.

Despite this, Clarke is encouraged by some of the renewable options that are being discussed and implemented throughout the province.

“It does feel like there is momentum in this province around making change. We’ve had the carbon tax come out, and however you feel about that, that is one action that we can be taking to try and reduce our emissions,” he said.

Some at the summit were also hoping to see an Indigenous perspective enter into climate discussions.

Michelle Brass is a committee member for Indigenous Climate Action – a group that works to incorporate Indigenous perspectives into climate talks.

“I would say that Indigenous voices have not been heard,” said Brass.

“Indigenous peoples contribute the least to greenhouse gas emissions, but we are impacted the most and often the first with our connections to the land and how we engage with our societies.”

Brass hopes to soon see more Indigenous voices in discussion with environmental decision makers and represented at all levels of government on the issue.