Mitchell Lands couldn’t make the trip south from Canada, where he lives on the traditional lands of the Migisi Sahgaigan, or Eagle Lake First Nation, in the province of Ontario. But Lands’ voice echoed in early October outside the concrete and glass headquarters of Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest consumer goods company, as he described seeing trees chopped down all the way to the shores of Eagle Lake.
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Centuries of land loss and forced relocation have left Native Americans significantly more exposed to the effects of climate change, new data show, adding to the debate over how to address climate change and racial inequity in the United States.
Chumash people have inhabited California’s Central Coast region over 20,000 years, stewarding our ancestral waters. For the last 40 years, Chumash leaders and allies have fought to protect the extraordinary cultural and natural values of our home against new and harmful industrial development. President Biden now has an opportunity to honor this history by moving forward with the designation of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. He should act now.
This summer, Science Friday and other media outlets covered the protests against an oil pipeline project in northern Minnesota, where Canadian company Enbridge Energy was replacing and expanding their existing Line 3 infrastructure. Native American tribes in Minnesota—whose lands the pipeline would pass through and alongside—organized protests, direct action, and other resistance against the project. The pipeline was completed, and began moving tar sands oil at the beginning of October.
This week over 530 climate activists were arrested during Indigenous-led civil disobedience actions in Washington, D.C., calling on President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency and stop approving fossil fuel projects. Indigenous leaders have issued a series of demands, including the abolition of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, whose offices they occupied on Thursday for the first time since the 1970s. The protests come just weeks before the start of the critical U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, which President Biden and senior Cabinet members are expected to attend. “We’re not going anywhere,” says Siqiñiq Maupin, with Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic, who traveled from Alaska to D.C. and was among those arrested during the BIA occupation. “We do not have time for negotiations, for compromises.
Love Hopkins, an 11-year-old enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, sat in the middle of an intersection near the U.S. Capitol, preparing to be arrested.
Wild caribou are the single most important land-based species for both human communities and ecosystems in the Arctic. Abundant across the polar region, these animals play an essential role both as herbivores that impact tundra vegetation and as an important source of food to Indigenous hunters. In many cultures, caribou also have incalculable spiritual value.
Casey Camp-Horinek, a tribal elder from White Eagle, Okla., and environmental ambassador for the Ponca Nation, marched in the front of a crowd of hundreds headed toward the White House on Monday and held up her fist.
When asked when their journey as a climate activist began, India Logan-Riley responds that they were “born into it” because, as an Indigenous person, their history is intertwined with the history of climate change. Logan-Riley is Māori – specifically Kahungunu, Rangitāne and Rongomaiwahine – and Indigenous to Aotearoa (New Zealand). As co-founder of the Indigenous youth climate activism group, Te Ara Whatu, Logan-Riley is building on the work of relatives and elders, continuing a legacy of resistance to colonialism, development and environmental degradation. [Listen to India discuss their work with Stanford Law’s Buzz Thompson on the Bright Idea podcast here.]
As humans grapple with how to protect the environment and sustain life amid intensifying climate issues, St. Louis-area universities and other local institutions are looking to time-tested approaches for ideas as they kick off a free virtual conference later this week. One of those ideas has to do with kinship, an ancient concept that Kyle Whyte, the George Willis Pack Professor of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, has embedded into his contemporary research.