One key difference between kaitiakitanga and conservation is that the former considers people as part of the environment, while the latter manages nature as if people were separate from it.
Indigenous Environmental Network Denounces the Lack of Progress for Indigenous Peoples and Climate Justice at COP27 Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt – The UNFCCC Conference of the Parties concluded its 27th session in the early hours of Sunday, November 20, 2022 with the adoption of the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan. Despite the extended COP, Parties failed to […]
As world leaders return home from COP 27 and prepare for other meetings they must listen to native peoples and the plans they bring to the table to quell extraction from the Amazon
Indigenous peoples are the most impacted by decisions made about our waterways. Indigenous original instructions embedded in our languages and ancient stories, ceremonies and rituals maintain, sustain and protect biodiversity. The post Indigenous Water Ethics Event at the New School first appeared on Indigenous Environmental Network.
22nd United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues IEN’s Indigenous Feminisms Program presents: INDIGENOUS WOMEN FACING CLIMATE CATASTROPHE ~ As Water Protectors of Territorial Health In many Indigenous cultures, responsibility and stewardship of water is an almost exclusive role of women. Water is a critical life source, sustaining Indigenous cultures, foods, medicines, and economies. Listen […] The post 22nd United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues first appeared on Indigenous Environmental Network.
A growing body of research ties health of Indigenous communities to the environment.
See this list of government offices and services that close or adjust services for the holiday.
The activist for native peoples says she will work to overturn the ‘catastrophic legacy’ from Jair Bolsonaro’s presidencyThe activist tipped to become Brazil’s first-ever minister for native peoples has vowed to make the demarcation of Indigenous lands and the battle against environmental crime top priorities in an attempt to overcome Jair Bolsonaro’s “catastrophic legacy” of Amazon devastation and violence.Sônia Guajajara, a key member of Brazil’s burgeoning Indigenous rights movement, is widely expected to be named head of the ministry, which president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva promised to create during his campaign. Continue reading...
The city of Oakland just made history by giving over five acres in Joaquin Miller Park to an Indigenous land trust's stewardship. But the backstory was decades in the making. The post How Indigenous People Got Some Land Back in Oakland appeared first on Bay Nature.
Kevin Patterson joins the Agents of Change in Environmental Justice podcast to discuss uranium exposure science, and his own family’s personal experience with the toxic metal. Patterson, a PhD student in Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, also talks about what healthy, respectful partnerships between researchers and tribal communities look like, and his love of running.The Agents of Change in Environmental Justice podcast is a biweekly podcast featuring the stories and big ideas from past and present fellows, as well as others in the field. You can see all of the past episodes here.Listen below to our discussion with Patterson, and subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher. Agents of Change in Environmental Justice · Kevin Patterson on Indigenous communities’ heavy metal exposureTranscript Brian BienkowskiAll right, I am super excited to be joined by Kevin Patterson. Kevin, how are you doing today?Kevin Patterson Hi Brian, I'm doing pretty well. Yeah.Brian Bienkowski And where are you today?Kevin Patterson I'm in New Haven, Connecticut.Brian Bienkowski And speaking of space, you are not originally from the East Coast. You are from the Navajo Nation, growing up in New Mexico near the tribe's reservation. So tell me about this place that you grew up. Tell me about your upbringing and how it shaped you.Kevin Patterson Yeah. So you're right that I grew up in a town called Farmington, New Mexico. Town maybe like up for debate here now because with every year, Farmington, every time I go back, it feels likemy hometown is growing a little bit bigger each time. I think technically, by definition, it's a city. And probably one of the larger sort of metro areas for a couple hundred miles, you know, around I think the next sort of equal size city could be like Durango, 45 minutes north across the border in Colorado, but I grew up in Farmington. It's a border town to my reservation, the Navajo Nation. And I feel like there was no sort of separation between the two. Until really getting moving through like middle school and high school and coming to understand that some of my friends like had never been to the reservation. And even though it's like 15 minutes away from where our school was. So it sort of created this separation of an understanding that, you know, this was one place and then Farmington was sort of its own thing, which I previously hadn't really thought of, that spatially before that difference. And so, I think I had a great childhood growing up in Farmington. I grew up going to Catholic school and then went, then went into public school for middle school and high school. But I think the changes that Farmington has had, from you know, its early inception of when, you know, the town was founded, and then to now has certainly become this kind of space where a lot more, I would say like a lot more, Natives have been moving into the city, but has always been primarily supported by, you know, the reservation that's there with people coming in to commute for buying, you know, groceries or supplies for the week or next two weeks. And then also just the industries that have existed there since I was a kid with oil and gas, oil and natural gas and so, yeah.Brian Bienkowski So I think we're here a lot about how if we went back to some tribal teachings, tribals ways of tribal ways of life, that we would be better off environmentally and I, I'm painting with a broad brush, but specifically talking to your experience, I don't know how much cultural teachings were a part of your childhood. But can you talk about some of the similarities and intersections that you see with the Navajo cultural teachings and the broader mission of environmental justice that you work on now?Kevin Patterson Yeah, I think like my, you know, my upbringing from my mom's side, my, my grandmother or my shimásání really was. And I would say, my grandfather too before he passed, through them to my mom, then to me, a lot of his teachings about how we interact with the environment, the way we should see the environment, as we see ourselves that these things are not so mutually exclusive when we talk about, you know, what happens even globally, to the environment. Because what eventually gets put at stake is like, you know, our health involved with those cycles that are both, you know, naturally happening, but also sped up through, you know, anthropogenic activity that's occurring every day. So I don't quite like, integrate into, or I don't do it as well, right now, and starting out in mind. So I just started my first year my program, and that is sort of a question that I've been trying to kind of figure out more of, like, were these oral teachings, these oral traditions, this sense of, cultural identity sort of fits in, or if it does fit in into the work that I do. And my advisor really has helped and, you know, putting into perspective that all knowledge and like all things and a similar teaching that I think my grandmother has always instilled in my family that you know, they're these all systems of knowledge are so important to any of the work that we do. That one is not a, or one doesn't necessarily have like a hierarchy over the other when we talk about the same thing. When we're talking about like, how these like in my work specifically, like, you know, the composition of like heavy metals, whether it be in like groundwater, well water, or in the food that we eat. We can think about it, of course, in these more nuanced and heavier scientific terms of, you know, what? What is mechanistic, like the mechanisms like what's happening when we ingest it and the dangers of that. But it's not so I feel a different, different stories and being painted when we talk in terms of like, what has always been known through the way we respect the environment, and the way we understand how, like what is in the environment, and in mostly through all these early oral traditions and from the creation stories in Navajo culture, to the way we conduct ourselves through kinship, in our families, that it is all at a level of respect. And I think it's a way that I've been trying to like further, you know, find ways to combine in the work that I do that, hopefully, by the next time you ask, I can do so in a much more eloquent answer in a more defined way.Brian Bienkowski Now, that makes... What you said makes a lot of sense, especially the beginning portion reminds me of a quote that I really like and I can't remember who it's ascribed to, but that "we are nature too," that people aren't nature do. I think we often think of ourselves as separate and we look out there and that's nature, but we are nature too and I think that's, that's an important point, especially for someone who's, who's looking at exposure science, like you are, and I want to talk about some of your work. But before we get to that, what is a defining moment or event that has shaped your identity up to this point?Kevin Patterson Yeah, I think what with what has kind of pushed me to the work that I do now and has been a big source of like, why want to look at, you know, these understand not just the mechanism of like, what causes what but you know, get a broader sense of like, how this affects the community that I come from, my mother in, when I was about, like, in the eighth grade, I think it was back in like 2009, she was diagnosed with breast cancer at that time, and I hadn't quite like, come to understand, like, first, like, how does one get breast cancer, and then also finding kind of like this, or at least the time understanding that like, this was just something that happens. And that may be like, more motivated by like, these individual factors of like lifestyle. But, you know, through learning more about or, you know, critically understanding how there's much more to the picture of beyond these l factors that can that can, you know, give rise to certain conditions like this. And I started to think more about like, environmentally, like, what, what are sources of, you know, these, what could be environmental sources of cases like this, because I remember, hearing from my mom and from my aunts that they also like, had heard of, or their friends with people that were getting other cases of cancer, be that mostly breast cancer. And I just remember, at this time that there was I was, like, thinking about, like, all these people, I mean, very close to my relatives, but like, thinking about, like, you know, what was the source of this? And like, is this something that just happens? And questions that I didn't really quite connect until, in my later years of undergrad, and thinking about, you know, the history of not just, you know, where I was situated, but also my family and the movement of, you know, the exposures that they came into contact with over time. So, my grandfather was a uranium mine worker at the time, and along with his brothers and relatives, they either worked in cases daily, directly in the mines, or, you know, more tangential to it. And often without, you know, protective equipment. And so my aunt used to tell me stories of like, how her my grandmother used to, like, take his clothes at the end of the day, hand wash them, and, you know, and then prepare meals, you know, they're after mixing. So, you know, there's this, like daily contact of this exposure that was happening, that I just like, didn't I, you know, it just sort of like started clicking, like, these. The understanding at the time too, for my family and the community, there was no warning, or there was no sort of Express precaution about what they were doing. So into today, and thinking about how, you know, I mean it was so long since then. So, you know, I can't say like how much of that exposure is can be attributed to the rise of certain cases, such as my mom. But nonetheless, it is still a question that comes to mind when I think about how my mom's breast cancer case that there are other families and other people in my community and others alike, that are experiencing, that have experienced the same thing. But when we think about the reasons for I think the environment is less of what comes at the forefront of the cause. And I think framing that now is more important than ever.Brian Bienkowski It can you speak in a broader sense about the dangers of uranium, specifically, you were talking about uranium and family exposures, and that comes from a deeply personal place. So what are some of the kind of health dangers and exposure risks of uranium and why are some Western tribes at such a higher risk for exposure?Kevin Patterson Yeah. So I think I gave I provided a pretty classic example of like when people think about uranium exposure is you know, the cancerous effects of it through its radioactivity. But a lot of my research actually is more concerned with understanding the chemical effect of uranium. And I think with the the general understanding is, I think most people kind of situate themselves as like, this is something that, you know, the Southwest or like regions where uranium mining is occurring that this is, you know, that's sort of their problem, or like, this doesn't quite concern me, but actually, and through enhanced data that has shown that it is it is well understood that, that everyone is sort of exposed to very low doses, whether that is through the food that we eat, or the water that we drink, and inhalation is kind of more of a concern like ambient, air exposure in places in the Southwest where, you know, it kind of just combines and with certain like particulate matter, and that has been a research and for a lot of institutions situated up there looking at those air pollution exposures. But when we think about like the, the, the chemical effect of uranium, we know that it has, at high doses and animal models, a pretty adverse effects primarily the kidneys. And so a lot of there's been cases associated with chronic kidney disease. And even further that, it deposits into bone mostly, but we do excrete like, most of it, most uranium that we do ingest. And so it's not necessarily here at all, like cause any alarm for the general public. But when we think about like those exposed to elevated levels, chronically over the life course, I think that's where it's a little bit more murky and understanding what is happening here in these communities, primarily communities that have had histories of, you know, uranium mining in their areas, not just native, but like, a lot of other rural communities that are faced similarly with these, with a reality of having like stories similar to mine, of, you know, this was happening, and they didn't know any, like, they didn't know any better about what was happening, what they were doing to their health or like, the possible impact. So that is sort of the field that I or the work that I do, and kind of understanding these questions of who is most at, you know, risk for exposure and not just exposure itself, but like this elevated exposure, and further understanding mechanistically like what is happening.Brian Bienkowski And I should say that it's not just a Southwest problem, as you said, when I moved into my house, I'm in a rural area, we had elevated uranium in my water here, actually, and I am in Michigan's Upper Peninsula pretty far away from the Southwest. So we actually put it in a reverse osmosis system that took care of it, but it was higher than recommended levels. So test people, if you're, if you're on a private well. Test, test your water. Don't Don't be alarmed. But but you should test. So Kevin, what is some of the... can you give us a sense of some of the stuff that you're working on now? What are some research projects that you're currently engaged in?Kevin Patterson Yeah. So as I mentioned before, I'm a trainee with the Columbia Northern Plains Supefund research program. And there's where a lot of my work is situated, in just understanding heavy-metal exposure through water primarily. So that was a great point that you made earlier about private water well, testing currently in the US private wells aren't under EPA regulation. So if for and I feel that a lot we know that that impacts a lot of people living in more rural areas across the US that are sourcing their water from private wells. So and these are areas of like both this unknown-known occurrence of like elevated heavy metal exposure, whether that is just uranium or arsenic. That compared to counties with, you know, public data on their community water systems that are regulated by EPA, the EPA. Private well water tends to be at a higher occurrence for a lot of these, are just at a higher concentration. So it brings more into perspective understanding. We do know a lot, of course of like, you know, these not just like inorganic contaminants, but a lot of organic contaminants and well, water. But typically, I think a lot of research has put a single exposure or contaminant of concern to like a single outcome. And obviously, as we know, that we are exposed to many things every day. And it's the co-occurrence and the mixtures of these various toxics and heavy metals that we're trying to understand its impact and its rise to certain outcomes of interest. But also to mitigate that and eventually eradicate the disparity and people accessing safe and clean drinking water.Brian Bienkowski We talked about uranium mining, which is a pretty clear example of an extractive industry. But another kind of way that there's been extractive relationships is when research is done in and around tribal communities, it's often been done in an extractive way and not with the community in mind. So I'm wondering, when you think of healthy, respectful partnerships between researchers and tribal communities, what does that look like? And do you have any examples of that being done well?Kevin Patterson I think a great example of the researcher to any sort of tribal nation or tribal organization, collaboration that I know of, at least at the forefront of the work that I do right now, because a lot of my work is situated through this cohort study, but it's called the Strong Herd study. And currently, as far as I know, it's the largest epidemiologic study of cardiovascular disease in native populations, they recruit from 13 Different tribes, and North and South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Arizona. And it has really come out to be this... in some ways, like some authority and kind of bringing into perspective, these environmental contaminants that exist, and how mechanistically they are kind of occurring in this population, what is elevated there, but also coming to better illustrate, you know, what can be done as an intervention in water has been one of the direct pathways of, you know, a lot of these exposures that are occurring. And so I know that through this initiative, that there have been water interventions that have taken place, and that the study of the intervention itself is underway. But I feel that this is such a great example of both including the tribal members, the participants, there the the data sovereignty, there's like it, it the tribe owns it. And so I think when we have to think about like, how, like ownership in general, when it comes to these large studies, it's you would think, like, uh, you know, maybe it's the funding organization here through NIH, or through the research team themselves or the researchers. But I find that like with, you know, honest and healthy collaboration begins, starts with understanding that the community that you worked with, especially tribes are, you know, really the authority over like, how their data is used and what questions are approved to be investigated and I just find that that is something that is going on with I'm sure with a lot of other similar studies and similar partnerships but with every the everyday work that I do that is a pretty strong example there of what we can learn from and continue to emulate but also like the lessons learned from from that, so.Brian Bienkowski So Kevin, what are some ways that you would like to or that you've seen others communicate science and findings to tribal communities? I'm especially thinking of those who may only speak their traditional language. And maybe that's how they consume information. What what do you think about this front? If you're seeing it done, or if you'd like to do it in the future yourself?Kevin Patterson I think in an initiative that has been undertaken, maybe not necessarily– because I really have only sort of, I really only operate in the space of academia right now with research that I do. But outside of that, I know that there is a lot of research that is primarily community-driven in terms of like, whether it's a tribal health board, or if it's a local tribal health related organization. And at the forefront of that, like, the level of communication there is already being it's at, its at the like, the question formulation, it's like the community is so involved at that point, that I find that that, at least from my understanding, that is like the best way for any work out of that is communicated... they, because they're already in the picture, they're already in the way that the question has been designed. And as the research carries forward, in the case, when it comes to like, the work, like, from whatever I would publish, or others, my peers, like a lay summary report has to be produced. And that has to be proved and communicated by representatives on, for instance, in the strong heart, there is an over the, there's a board that oversees that. And so I think we can hope that like, you know, it's communicated enough that there is a lay understanding to it. But I feel that as I'm coming more into this work and understanding, like what even like talking to my friends here about the work that I do, there, it's a little hard for them to even, like, quite understand exactly like, what this result means or like, you know, what this method is doing. And so I I'm not quite at like that for myself at that stage to truly understand, especially when it comes to like tribal communities and communicating that and their respective languages. Like an example of, of the, you know, that particular both communication and translation recently with the past Navajo Nation administration, the executive director of the Department of Health, Dr. Joel Jim, when COVID happened, and I was watching the live broadcasted sessions happening at the Navajo Department of Health seminars and announcements. She was both speaking and Navajo and English. And there was also another, others there to translate to, to both, like, delegate representatives across the reservation, to then also, you know, get further word out to their constituents, but I just, I think it's such a imperfect way of communicating what I know through my training in and even like, more, like both, like you provide the lay summary, but then translating that even into Navajo. Take some steps even further break down, like maybe certain sentences or phrases that don't have any direct translation. And so maybe you're not fully getting to, like, convey maybe the alarm or the concern and what your message is or what the result is itself.Brian Bienkowski And Kevin, what is well, I should say real quick, so at EHN we have been translating a lot of our work into Spanish. And I can tell you to try to capture the complexities and nuance of language and communicate the same thing in two languages is something that I did not understand when we first started doing this. And that of course, is is just one language and now you're dealing with how many different tribal languages and so totally understand that it is a huge undertaking to try to communicate in different languages and stuff, but I appreciate your appreciate response. And I I like to ask folks, because this work can be hard to deal with pollutants and communities and illness. What makes you optimistic?Kevin Patterson Yeah, I'm really optimistic with, you know, coming into this field, I think there's a lot of outside of it, that he can sort of seem Doomsday, especially with the recent pandemic. And when I tell people that I do, or I'm being trained in epidemiology, that there's an immediate, like, kind of hesitation or like breath taken. And I have to then say, like, oh, well, I mean, specifically, you know, I look at these environmental contaminants on population health. But I'm optimistic about the direction of the field, just because it's so interdisciplinary with forming these collaborations with other departments and, you know, other researchers in various other fields of study, not even just like situated in STEM, that it takes the work that we do to I think points in which I want to even consider that our main make even a greater impact or, or more direct line of impact to, I think, ultimately, the communities that we're trying to improve when it comes to just in specifically against my work of accessing safe water, clean water. But even the broader sensors living and in healthier environments. That, I think, obviously, with, like, when we think about all these exposures, and like, what can I do? I think it just by part of like, the the partnerships, and the community work that does happen, is what is pushing me through, you know, continuing to, like, investigate, like, what's happening with my communities and others alike, because I think you can I feel some days, I can get siloed into thinking like, wow, like, what, you know, where we're, where are we going at this point? And we're like, you know, or how, in my lifetime, like, will we come to this, you know, resolution? But I think, putting myself more presently, and thinking about, like, all the incredible work that is happening right now, but work that is jointly supported by multiple different people from different perspectives and angles of the work that I think I know that we will get there to a resolution, and that that's what makes me optimistic.Brian Bienkowski For sure. And I have found writing about the environment for more than a decade now that change is incremental. And even though you want things to change overnight, it's important to take a step back and realize that things are hopefully in most spaces inching along. So Kevin, I want to give readers a quick peek behind the scenes. So we were both at a retreat for this cohort. And I happen to know, because I was out on a run that you were out on a run one morning, and I believe we were the only two separately running before the retreat started. So I wanted to ask you, if you get a chance to run a lot these days?Kevin Patterson yeah, now I tried to make it a habit, at least like two to three times a week that I'm days when I'm not in New York that I am running. When I did get back here, it's such a great like, moment for me to just clear my head and to, you know, not be so muddled and both, you know, the atmosphere, what is, you know, the city in New York, but even you know, here and being in my apartment, that it's a nice time to just kind of have that moment of meditation.Brian Bienkowski For sure, I cycle a lot more than I run. And I can say, when I go on a bike ride, I have to put on all of this gear and weird shoes, and tight clothes, and I love it. But there's something about just putting on your tennis shoes, and going out for a run no matter where you're at whether you're traveling at a conference or at your house. It's just a very simple, beautiful way to decompress. So I totally agree. So Kevin, this has been a whole lot of fun to learn more about you and your research and we are we have reached what I consider the fun portion of things and we're near the end. So before my last question, I have three rapid fire questions where you can just answer with one word or a phrase. The thing that makes me most uniqueKevin Patterson is my friends say I am the most Aquarius person they know. I don't quite fully understand what that means. But I'm not saying that that makes me unique in any way. By I'm sure there are many Aquarius is that may be listening to this podcast. But it is something that I hear a lot so that I mean that's the first thing that came to mind.Brian Bienkowski Now I'm going to now I'm going to have to google characteristics of an Aquarius after this. Something that always makes me smile isKevin Patterson We recently just got, well, not so recent, but we got a little cat. Her name is Kashi. And you know, she can both be like, getting so mad sometimes. But I think at the end of it always brings me into a smile when I think about like, oh, like we're I'm doing this whole day, you know, of a commute or like doing whatever, in the city and then but thinking about like, oh, yeah, well, I get to come back to my cat. And usually, that'll always bring a smile to my face.Brian Bienkowski For sure, as someone who has recently dealt with aging pets and saying goodbye, I can tell you to enjoy, enjoy the hell out of the early days, even if it's occasionally frustrating because you will miss them. If I had an entire day free from responsibilities, I would likelyKevin Patterson I mean, I I think honestly, I would, and this was maybe this is controversial, but I likely just not do anything. I feel like I do way too much every single day. And so it would be nice, you know? You knowactually, I think in my my phrasing of like, nothing is more of me going to my favorite spot in New Haven, which is Atticus on Orange Street. It's this market there. And I used to last summer, early in the morning, like if I if it was after a run or if it's just me having to be there that I love just getting a coffee sitting outside and reading a really good graphic novel.Brian Bienkowski Yes, well, that sounds lovely. I'm a fellow graphic novel lover. Which brings me to my last question. And it doesn't have to be a graphic novel. But what is the last book that you read for fun?Kevin Patterson Yeah, I mean, in this case, they will be a graphic novel for me because I sometimes I need some light reading in my life. And I've always loved just having illustrations to what I have, mostly with getting that out of graphic novel reading. So the last one I read that I thought was really great, was "The nice house on the lake." I am a big fan of just like this post-apocalyptic, you know, setting of just understanding how people navigate the world at that moment. And as my close friends would argue that, you know, in some cases, maybe we are living in one right now. I just I find that just within that genre in graphic novel reading that. Any any book is for sure going to be on my list.Brian Bienkowski Kevin, this has been so much fun. Thank you so much for joining the podcast today.Kevin Patterson Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Indigenous Peoples' Day is Monday, Oct. 10. Here's how to get involved around the state.
Canada’s prime minister calls on China, Russia and Brazil to expand protected areas for natureJustin Trudeau has urged China, Russia, Brazil and other large countries to massively expand protected areas for nature at Cop15 while putting Indigenous rights at the heart of conservation, as momentum gathers behind a controversial target to conserve 30% of Earth.On Wednesday, the Canadian prime minister committed C$800m (£510m) of funding over seven years for Indigenous-led conservation projects in his country across an area the size of Egypt, starting a “story of reconciliation” with Indigenous peoples. Continue reading...
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A new report says the key to saving Brazil’s Atlantic Forest is recognizing Indigenous territory
Campaigners use traditional Sámi tents to block roads in Norwegian capital in protest against turbines on reindeer pasturesHundreds of Indigenous and environmental campaigners have blocked a main thoroughfare in Oslo to demand the demolition of two windfarms that have been described by the Norwegian government as a “violation of human rights”.The Wednesday protest traces its roots to a landmark 2021 decision by Norway’s supreme court that found 151 wind turbines in the western region of Fosen had trampled on the rights of Sámi reindeer herders by encroaching on their pastures. Continue reading...
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A new report says the key to saving Brazil’s Atlantic Forest is recognizing Indigenous territory.
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YQT community signs unprecedented agreement with coal company giving Indigenous leadership ‘veto’ on proposed projectTwo landmark deals in western Canada could reshape the role of Indigenous nations in resource development projects, placing greater power in the hands of groups that have long been excluded and signalling a possible shift in how industry and governments negotiate with communities on the frontlines of environmental degradation.In recent years, a string of fierce battles over pipelines have put a spotlight on the fractious nature of resource extraction projects, often pitting First Nations communities against powerful companies. Continue reading...
The removal of a Native American on the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners is 'a slap in the face,' Indigenous groups say.
What kinds of support should be provided to reinvigorate Indigenous agricultural economies?
Land isn’t just a resource for many Indigenous peoples. It’s a sacred space, central to culture, livelihood and ancestry. The big picture: As climate change displaces millions of people every year, Indigenous communities around the world are grappling with an impossible choice: to go, or not to go.Context: According to a 2022 report by the UN Refugee Agency, at least 21.5 million people every year are displaced due to climate-related disasters, like droughts, wildfires and floods. The big picture: Climbing temperatures driven by fossil fuel pollution are creating unlivable conditions for tribal communities across the world, according to Angelo Villagomez of the Center for American Progress, who is Indigenous Chamorro from the island of Saipan. "If we lose this connection to the land, we lose who we are, and if we lose this diversity, of ways of knowing and ways of being, we lose something in terms of a global society and being able to tackle some of these issues," said Villagomez.The backstory: While every tribal nation faces distinctive climate challenges, something all Indigenous communities in the U.S. have in common is being disproportionately impacted by the warming world. Historic tribal land loss plays a major part. A 2021 study published in the journal Science found that European colonization and expansion of North America is responsible for Indigenous peoples' relocation to lands now experiencing an increased exposure to climate hazards.The study's authors told Grist that when compared to historic territories, the present-day Indigenous lands are more vulnerable to climate hazards like excessive heat and reduced rainfall.Zoom out: Indigenous peoples across the country are facing hazardous climate risks to their homes — forcing many to leave behind remaining ancestral lands. Decreasing sea ice and warming temperatures are increasing flood and erosion risk in Alaska, threatening to displace dozens of Native Alaskan communities. Several villages have started relocating in the face of that.Land subsidence, or sinking land, worsened by sea level rise, has submerged much of southeastern Louisiana's coastline — forcing Indigenous groups like the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw to leave or weather vanishing shores. Rising seas, erosion, increasing tsunami and flood risk have led some of the Quinault Nation community of Taholah, Washington to begin preparing to relocate to higher ground.Beyond U.S. borders, the number of displaced people is growing steadily, with the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicting 143 million people may be uprooted by climate-related disasters like rising sea levels over the next 30 years. But for some, leaving is not an option. Jupta Itoewaki, president of the Mulokot Foundation and member of the Wayana tribe in Suriname, South America, told Axios in an email that her tribe "never" talks about moving or relocating to another place."It is important to know about the relationship and the responsibility of Indigenous peoples towards their community, towards their ancestral land," Itoewaki wrote. "Migration would mean running away from [one's] responsibility, not caring of the relationship we have with our land."Of note: Increased flooding, droughts and changes in growing seasons continue to impact the tribe's farms, leading to failed crops — making food insecurity a pressing concern. Despite these compounding climate stressors, resettling is not on the table. Only adaptation is."Our land means our home to us, our land also tells which tribe or clan or family we belong to," Itoewaki wrote. "Land means life to us." What they're saying: The Indigenous Environmental Network's Brenna TwoBears — who is Navajo, Ho-Chunk, and Standing Rock Lakota from Wisconsin and Arizona — told Axios that they are hopeful that Indigenous culture and connection to land in many places can still be preserved. Rapid cuts to global emissions and investments in clean energy are vital solutions to that, according to TwoBears. "The land, for right now, is still there. And we are going to fight for it."
A coalition of environmental and Indigenous groups is suing the Biden administration over the approval of the Willow oil- and gas-drilling project in Alaska, arguing the government failed to consider the climate risks, as well as harm to wildlife and subsistence hunting
By Fatima Syed Housing Minister Steve Clark admitted the government passed Bill 23 without consulting First Nations, despite past clashes with Indigenous communities over development
The Brewers run cattle and grow some alfalfa across 12,000 acres of grassland that’s a combination of owned land, leased tribal land, and federal trust land. This complicated arrangement isn’t unusual for Indigenous producers, who experience unique hurdles such as financial lending discrimination, limited land ownership opportunities, additional governance requirements, and disproportionately high poverty rates […] The post Building a Case for Investment in Regenerative Agriculture on Indigenous Farms appeared first on Civil Eats.
By Julia-Simone Rutgers A new Indigenous guardian program in the 50,000-square-kilometre Seal River Watershed in northern Manitoba is the next step toward nearly doubling protected areas in the province
After the ranch manager, Chris Bechtold, killed and bled out one of the estimated 700 bison in the herd, the students approached the carcass to participate in the traditional process of breaking down the animal. It was bitter cold out, but the organizer stoked a big bonfire to keep everyone warm. Dugan Coburn, the director […] The post Indigenous Foodways Are the Focus in a Growing Number of Classrooms appeared first on Civil Eats.
In the struggle against aqua nullius, Indigenous people’s right to make decisions about water on Country is a priority.
Almost 200 countries are reckoning with the world’s extraordinary loss of the variety of life at the COP15 nature summit in Canada. Here’s why Indigenous involvement is crucial.
By Anthony BoadleBRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's Supreme Court is expected to rule next week against attempts by the country's powerful farm lobby to...
By Stephanie Wood Canada needs to protect more land. There’s 500,000 square kilometres in proposed Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas. So what’s the holdup?
Sámi land defenders say the windmills must be demolished.
Sámi land defenders say the windmills must be demolished
The in-person summit offers leaders a rare opportunity to collaborate on stopping threats to Indigenous lands and lives.
The UN says the world is spending trillions on climate action and only a fraction is going to Indigenous communities.
Plan to drastically dilute bodies’ powers would deal severe blow to Lula’s attempt to reverse Bolsonaro’s era of Amazon devastationBrazilian activists have voiced outrage after congress moved to drastically dilute the powers of the environment and Indigenous peoples ministries in what campaigners called a potentially crippling blow to efforts to protect Indigenous communities and the Amazon.Hopes that Brazil could turn the page on Jair Bolsonaro’s era of Amazon devastation were sky-high after the far-right leader lost last year’s presidential election to the leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. During his campaign Lula vowed to stamp out environmental crime and champion Indigenous people, and after taking power in January put the veteran environmentalist Marina Silva in charge of environmental affairs and made the Indigenous activist Sônia Guajajara head of a new ministry for Indigenous peoples. Continue reading...
Amazon nations' leaders have gathered in the Brazilian city of Belém for a rare summit about the future of the world's largest rainforest amid growing concern over the global climate emergency. The environmental summit convened by Brazil’s leftist president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, represents a handbrake turn in Brazilian government policy after four years of Amazon destruction under the country's previous leader, Jair Bolsonaro. In the run-up to the summit, thousands of Indigenous people gathered to protest and demand the government pledge a greater commitment towards protecting the rainforest. Activists have warned Brazil's ultra-right congress could prevent the president from carrying out his ambitious environmental agendaBrazilian president Lula pledges ‘new Amazon dream’ at rainforest summit Continue reading...
“We cannot be sacrificed in the name of the green transition.”
About 70 people seized in protest at environmental damage from crude oil spillage into Cuninico RiverIndigenous people in the Amazon in Peru have detained a group of Peruvian and foreign tourists, including UK and US citizens, in protest at a lack of government aid following an oil spill in the area.“[We want] to call the government’s attention with this action, There are foreigners and Peruvians, there are about 70 people,” Watson Trujillo, the leader of the Cuninico community, told RPP radio. Continue reading...
A new report finds Indigenous people in Brazil, Colombia and the Philippines often face the highest rates of violence.
Leaders say PFAS contamination from military bases is threatening Indigenous lives and rights.
Brazil's incoming president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has pledged to reverse years of neglect in the Amazon rainforest, halting destruction in Indigenous reserves.
By Michelle Cyca Canada’s climate commitments rest in Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas — often called IPCAs. While the concept isn’t new, it’s gaining better recognition and funding from, at least, some governments
Coming Soon | 75 minutes , 4K , 2023 Language versions available: English, German, French, Spanish, Bahasa Indonesia The last indigenous people of Mentawai, a small archipelago south-west of Sumatra, are fighting with creative resistance to preserve their ancient culture and rainforest. A culture on the verge of extinction - with the latest geopolitical developments, the destruction of their habitat reaches the point of no return. Smashing the hopes of thirty years of democratization in Indonesia, Jakarta in relapse to authoritarian rule is enforcing deforestation in Mentawai. In collaboration with investigative journalist Febrianti and indigenous foundations, our film portrays indigenous culture, history and resistance up to the most recent developments in geopolitical of Indonesia's growing environmental degradation. Connect with all your heart and senses: see, feel, touch, smell life in the jungle. The cinematic and compassionate camera conveys an intimate and sensual experience of the indigenous life on Mentawai with its beauty and vulnerability. Three shamans are the main characters in the film, hunter-gatherers in a culture predating even traditions of weaving or pottery, archaic traditions with their own complexity. The film portrays daily life of the indigenous tribe, their spiritual cosmos and their commitment to preserving their own culture and natural habitat. Logging companies threaten the fragile eco-system of the islands. Rare historic footage and archive materials tell the story of decades of oppression of the indigenous culture – but also of the resilience of our main characters and the last tribes living in the jungle. The main character, Father Laulau had been a leader in this struggle for decades, meeting the governor on Sumatra in a key point of history. The latter part of the film explores the geopolitical context and shows a new generation joining our main characters in the fight for the preservation of both their environment and culture – as part of a larger movement in Indonesia. The project started by indigenous initiative: Martison Siritoitet from Indigenous foundation Suku Mentawai (http:/sukumentawai.org) invited director Joo Peter to Mentawai and a long-term collaboration started including also Mentawai Indigenous Education Program (http://IEFprograms.org) The film is one of a planned series of films celebrating the diversity and richness of the Indonesian indigenous culture.
Brazilian Indigenous leaders and environmentalists are outraged after lawmakers approved a measure that would affect claims to Indigenous land, and potentially, environmental protections.
By Lindsay Sample She joins the team to deepen our reporting on Indigenous-led conservation
However, outdated science and views leads many researchers to ignore traditional knowledge.
In the wake of historic storms, the Māori say New Zealand must center Indigenous peoples in climate disaster plans.
Even with strict regulations, protected areas are losing forest to weakened environmental policies.
Law enforcement in Alaska has prepared a first-of-its-kind report detailing missing Alaska Natives and American Indians
As an economic boom’s gains pass them by, people in unprotected land have been hit by hunger and disease, with infant mortality rates seven times higher than the rest of BrazilThe infant mortality rate among the Indigenous peoples of Brazil jumped by 16% last year, according to new data, as experts warn that the expansion of legal and illegal extractive industries in the Amazon rainforest has had profound effects on the health and quality of life of Indigenous people living in unprotected areas.Over the past 50 years, the Amazon’s landscape has changed dramatically, with about 17% of the primary forest now gone, replaced by towns, roads, cattle ranches, mines and vast fields of soya beans. Continue reading...
The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – a “History of Firsts” Special Acknowledgements to Alberto Saldamando (Xicano/ Zapoteca), IEN’s International Council on Human Rights and Climate Change for this featured article. The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), also referred to as the Declaration, was first drafted by the then Sub […]The post The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – a History of Firsts first appeared on Indigenous Environmental Network.
The National Park Service's vision of Quitobaquito Springs as a "wild" park was at odds with the Indigenous caretakers already living there.
Nearly a quarter of the activists murdered were Indigenous.
Oak flat is one of the largest copper sources in North America. It's also the San Carlos Apache Tribe's most sacred site.
Deserts in Australia burn – and burn big – if fuel is left to build up. But this year, Indigenous rangers across the deserts have burned huge tracts early to make Country healthier.