An Indigenous Movement to Confront Climate Change

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Over the last two decades, the Indigenous movement to stop human-induced climate change has grown into a major civil society voice and force, both within the United Nations climate conferences as well as in parallel and autonomous spaces. I first contextualize the movement's roots within the historic rise of an international Indigenous movement framed around human rights. Next I present a characterization of the unique discourses and epistemology held by the International Indigenous Climate Movement in contrast to those of the dominant environmental and governmental institutions and actors. I then outline the agenda, main concerns, and mode of self-organization that this movement has articulated within official negotiations, followed by a discussion of how activists are creating and utilizing alternative, non-official spaces. In both contexts, I briefly touch on the nature of their interactions with non-indigenous social movement actors, and conclude with reflections on the still considerable gaps between...

Author-supplied keywords

  • Indigenous climate movement
  • Indigenous movement
  • United Nations
  • climate change
  • human rights

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  • Ben Powless

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