The Arctic Athabaskan Council has filed a petition about black carbon emissions with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

The commission works to protect human rights in the American hemisphere.

Ruth Massie is the Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief, and a member of the council which represents First Nations in Alaska, Yukon and the N.W.T.


Ruth Massie, the Grand Chief of the Yukon Council of First Nations, filed the petition this week with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. (CBC)

She wants the commission to declare that Canada is contravening the human rights of Athabaskan peoples by inadequately regulating emissions on black carbon, or soot, in the Arctic.

"Canada is just talking about the issue. They do recognize the issue but what are they doing to change the regulatory process to enforce that action is being taken to try to reduce carbons," asked Massie.

Massie said the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet.

She said scientists believe that reducing black carbon emissions is the best way to slow climate change in the Arctic.

Massie said Canada must make black carbon emissions a priority or there won't be a problem to resolve in 10 years’ time.

She said the council filed the petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights because it carries more weight than the Canadian Human Rights Commission.