Indigenous Peoples and Climate Justice by Kyle Powys Whyte
In his lecture “Indigenous Peoples and Climate Justice,” Kyle Powys Whyte showcases indigenous leadership in the climate justice movement and illustrates the unique and grave threat climate change poses to indigenous experiences and ways of life. Climate change is not a new phenomenon for indigenous people, he explains. There are long-standing traditions in indigenous cultures that enable societies to respond to seasonal and inter-annual climate variability. Indigenous people have also already experienced climate change through their endurance of colonialism. Whyte describes how the current threat to indigenous people is a continuation of colonialism and how the consciousness gained from their prior experience with climate change can provide sound leadership for confronting the problem today. This talk is a part of the Bedrock Lectures on Human Rights and Climate Change presented by the Spring Creek Project.
Kyle Whyte is the Timnick Chair in the Humanities and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. He is also a faculty member of the Environmental Philosophy & Ethics graduate concentration, and a faculty affiliate of the American Indian & Indigenous Studies and Environmental Science & Policy programs. His research addresses moral and political issues concerning climate policy and indigenous peoples, the ethics of cooperative relationships between indigenous peoples and science organizations, and problems of indigenous justice in public and academic discussions of food sovereignty, environmental justice, and the Anthropocene. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.