António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in a statement on the conclusion of COP26, said the conference outcome reflected the state of political will in the world today and provided building blocks for progress. “We are in the fight of our lives, and this fight must be won,” he said. “Never give up. Never retreat. Keep pushing forward.”
“The outcome of COP26 is a compromise. It reflects the interests, the contradictions, and the state of political will in the world today. It is an important step, but it is not enough,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said at the conclusion of the conference. Indigenous Peoples from all over the world attended COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. This year, Indigenous Peoples represented the second-largest civil society delegation in attendance at COP26, second only to oil and gas lobbyists.
The International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) was established in 2008, as the Caucus for Indigenous Peoples participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) processes. The IIPFCC represents the Indigenous Caucus members who are present/attending the official UNFCCC COPs and intersessional meetings of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA/SBI) bodies in between COPs. Its mandate is to come into agreement specifically on what Indigenous Peoples will be negotiating for in specific UNFCCC processes.
Climate change can affect our health, ability to grow food, housing, safety, and work. Some of us are already more vulnerable to climate impacts, such as people living in small island nations and other developing countries. Conditions like sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion have advanced to the point where whole communities have had to relocate, and protracted droughts are putting people at risk of famine. In the future, the number of “climate refugees” is expected to rise.
For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conferences of the Parties (COP). In that time, climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority. Cultural Survival's Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications Daisee Francour (Oneida) spoke to youth activist Victor Lopez-Carmen (Crow Creek Sioux and Yaqui) at COP 26.
Cultural Survival's Avexnim Cojti attended the COP26 summit, and spoke to Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough (Iñupiat), International Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, who has served as an expert member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for 2016 and 2017 and as a member of the International Law Association Committee on Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
"Indigenous Peoples must be part of the solution to climate change. This is because you have the traditional knowledge of your ancestors. The important value of that knowledge simply can not—and must not—be understated. You are also essential in finding solutions today and in the future. The Paris Climate Change Agreement recognizes this.
For Indigenous Peoples, food security is necessary for health, and also to maintain a relationship with the earth and its resources.
What is also valuable for Indigenous Peoples is to consume culturally appropriate food. In this radio program, we speak to Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough and Carolina Behe, as we find out more about food sovereignty and food security amongst Inuit and Peoples in the Arctic.
Producer: Shaldon Ferris (KhoiSan)
Interviewees: Carolina Behe and Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough(Iñupiat)
Image: Berry picking. Photo by Chris Arend.
Indigenous peoples' day is about honoring indigenous resistance, and celebrating the contributions of indigenous peoples all over the world. In this newsletter we celebrate the activism of Antie Pua Case from Hawaii, and other activists around the world who fight to preserve our mountains, our rivers, our valleys, our Earth. The program ends with a song by Taino artist Brothery Mikey, who produced a song called "Like the Mauna", inspired by the Indigenous People of Hawaii's efforts to protect the sacred Mauna.
The reduction in size of the Bears Ears National Monument by the Trump Administration runs contrary to the principles established in Article 26 of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We spoke to Braidan Weeks, the Communications Coordinator for Utah Diné Bikéyah, about the importance of Bears Ears, the unlawfulness of the actions taken by the Trump administration, and the advocacy currently underway to defend the monument led by the Tribes of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition.
A close relationship with local environments and ecosystems is more critical than ever in the face of a rapidly changing climate. This program features two perspectives from Indigenous communities that are practicing resiliency to global warming by adapting their traditional knowledge and science to put a changing climate into the context of their communities' history and lifeways.
Elizabeth Azzuz (Yurok), Cultural Fire Management Council
Jannie Staffansson (Saami), Arctic and Environment Unit of the Saami Council
Can traditional knowledge from Indigenous communities provide us with answers to fighting climate change? We speak with Andrea Carmen (Yaqui), Executive Director of International Indian Treaty Council. She speaks about how Indigenous women are very strong voices in the work for the protection of the environment, through their role as food producers, knowledge holders, and the first teachers of children.
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.
Indigenous solidarity has coalesced into a powerful movement thanks to the activism and perseverance of Indigenous leaders from communities around the world. Indigenous leaders that are defending land, language, culture, and the environment face acute persecution, both from governments directly and from extrajudicial actors.
Indigenous Rights Radio Producer Shaldon Ferris interviews Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, about the Dakota Access Pipeline. Vicky describes the central tensions underlying the current conflict, and details the opportunities for recourse available to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe through both local and international governing bodies.
Interview with Vicky Tauli-Corpuz
Production by Shaldon Ferris
We're here in New York City at the People's Climate March, marching alongside Indigenous communities from all over the world who have joined together to demand action towards solutions for climate change. Here are some words from Winona LaDuke, a long time leader of the Native environmental movement in the United States.
Participants discuss what food sovereignty means for Indigenous Peoples. Speakers include Native American activist, and author Dr. Winona Laduke, and Dr. Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, Global Coordinator of the ICCA Consortium, and David Strelneck, Senior Advisor at Ashoka Foundation.
Produced by Dev Kumar Sunuwar and Jagat Dong from Nepal, for Cultural Survival after attending the Indigenous Terra Madre conference held in November, 2015 in Meghalaya, North East India.