Having indigenous people in charge of the land where they live is a good thing. Why? This statement from a coalition of more than 200 concerned organizations explains: “IPCC Agrees with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities on Climate Change.”
What this “good thing” means in specific cases varies a lot, naturally, as is clear from these interesting and encouraging examples:
- “More than 40 Indigenous communities in Canada have launched guardian programs, which employ local members to monitor ecosystems and protect sensitive areas and species.” “Indigenous Guardians Raise the Alarm on Impact of Climate Change in Canada,” Laura Kane, The Globe and Mail.
- “Northwestern tribes and the University of Washington climate group have joined forces to help protect salmon, roots, trees, and other important resources.” “Tribes Use Western and Indigenous Science to Prepare for Climate Change,” Erica Geis, Hakai Magazine.
- “Food security, traditional agriculture, and local self-reliance are key to regenerative societies of the future, say water protectors taking the movement’s lessons forward.” “The Women of Standing Rock Are Building Sovereign Food Economies,” Tracy L. Barnett, Yes! Magazine, reprinted in Civil Eats.
- “U.S. courts rarely favor environmental protections as a right – except when it comes to tribes expressing their treaty rights.” “How Do Tribal Nations’ Treaties Figure into Climate Change?” Anna V. Smith, High Country News.
- And here is another story from the Detroit News about the same possible (though risky) legal strategy to stop an oil pipeline in Michigan, rather than protecting salmon habitat in the Pacific Northwest.
- Finally, do read this blunt address in The Guardian from Raoni Metuktire, chief of the indigenous Brazilian Kayapó people: “We, the Peoples of the Amazon, Are Full of Fear. Soon You Will Be Too.“
This series is curated and written by retired Colorado State University English professor and close climate change watcher SueEllen Campbell of Colorado. To flag works you think warrant attention, send an e-mail to her any time. Let us hear from you.