Indigenous Peoples and Climate Justice
Indigenous peoples keep some of the oldest knowledge systems for understanding weather and climate. Based on these traditions, Indigenous peoples have mobilized to address climate change risks. Indigenous peoples have resisted exploitation by extractive industries whose actions are tied to the rise in global average temperature, such as fossil fuel industries. Indigenous peoples have testified that they are among the populations facing the most severe risks from climate change impacts. The Indigenous climate justice movement has influenced diverse areas, including science, activism, and policy. This course surveys the history of Indigenous knowledge about climate change, the drivers of the risks Indigenous peoples face from climate change, and Indigenous climate justice activism and resilience planning in North America and globally.
Indigenous peoples’ cultures, sciences and knowledge systems, political self-determination, and rights are a major sector of environmental justice work globally. Effective environmental justice professionals and advocates, including academics, are expected to have knowledge of how to work collaboratively and effect policy in Indigenous peoples’ contexts. Students will leave the course having achieved a basic working awareness of the following:
- Indigenous centered perspectives on environmental change science
- Indigenous intellectual and activist traditions as they pertain to environmental justice and climate justice
- Indigenous methods of intercultural exchange and dialogue
- Legal and policy foundations for the rights of Indigenous Peoples