In Mbororo communities in Chad, Indigenous women are the most affected by climate change because they are the ones collecting food, water, and traditional medicines for their families. Changes to their environment have cause increased hardship on the Mbororo who are pastoralist cattle headers, as they are forced to move more frequently to cope with increasing drought conditions.
What is the role of Indigenous Peoples in the current climate crisis? What responsibility do Indigenous Peoples feel towards Mother Earth today? Listen to three Indigenous women leaders give their perspectives on their feeling of the interconnection between all living things and our planet in the face of climate change, and what they feel should be done with that knowledge.
Lakes and forests in the Mt. Talinis area of the Phillipines are under threat from recent expansions of the energy industry. Apolinario Carino is working with the organization PENAGMANNAK, a federation of 17 Indigenous Peoples’ community groups, to pioneer community management strategies of reforestation designed to empower the Indigenous groups to shape the future of their lands. Apolinario hopes to share the knowledge that they have gained from these experiences in order to better combat climate change on a global scale.
Indigenous communities often hold invaluable knowledge about medicinal plants and healing practices rooted in the environment and resources of their traditional homelands. Anoop Pushkaran Krishnamma is working with the Kerala Kani Community Welfare Trust in partnership with Indigenous communities in India to record and preserve this knowledge, allowing for healing practices to be utilized by future generations.
Ezekiel Tye Freeman is the executive director of Green-PRO, which helps Liberian communities develop sustainable livelihoods for self-reliance. Beekeeping training programs, for example, offer a lucrative and environmentally friendly economic alternative to mining or slash-and-burn farming for individuals. Freeman points to high levels of unemployment among Liberia's Indigenous population as a major problem that his organization wants to attempt to alleviate.
George ‘Bic’ Manahira describes how his community established the
world's first community-run octopus, sea grass, and mangrove reserve in partnership with Blue Ventures, a UK-based NGO, in order to strengthen the traditional sea-resource-based livelihood of the coastal Indigenous communities in Madagascar. They hope to expand and improve on the model in collaboration with other Indigenous groups and leaders in the coming years.
The Kalinga Mission for Indigenous Children and Youth, led by Donato Bumacas, promotes values of biodiversity conservation, with the goal of poverty reduction. These values are upheld using Indigenous traditional knowledge systems andd technologies to conserve and maintain the local forests. Sustainable Indigenous agricultural technology is implemented, with the goal of passing these systems down to future generations, as this knowledge was passed down to them.
In many Indigenous communities, dual justice systems operate in tandem: the European system, a colonial imposition characterized by hierarchical, punitive, written codicies, and the Indigenous system, which is often based in tradition and holistic in nature.
Human Rights Lawyer Michelle Cook (Dine') elaborates on the interactions between these two systems, and explains how communities can use the language of human rights to challenge the colonial legal system imposition in order to gain a seat at the table as independent nations with internationally recognized justice systems.
Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, says she has found an inadequate process of consultation with Indigenous communities on the part of the national government during her visit to Honduras, where she was recently invited for a working visit to comment on a draft of a law regulating Free, Prior and Informed Consent. Indigenous Hondurans do not feel that they were adequately consulted on the content of the law. Further, the law does not meet widely accepted international standards of F.P.I.C.
HIV advocate Marama Mullen (Ngatiawa Māori), Executive Director of INA, the Maori, Indigenous, and South Pacific HIV/AIDS Foundation, discusses the HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness network that her organization has fostered among Indigenous communities in the South Pacific.
Song: "Atahualpa" by Yarina. Used with permission.
Introduction: "Burn Your Village to the Ground" by A Tribe Called Red. Used with permission.