Climate change is powered by the colonial dispossession of Indigenous peoples from their lands to make way for fossil fuel extraction. Enormous capital is consolidated through resource extraction (at home and abroad), but the vast majority of profits go to a select few corporate moguls. Indigenous Nations and peoples are severely affected by climate change, but their consent is often not given for the projects propelling it, and they receive a fraction of the economic benefits. Around the globe, Indigenous-managed lands also have higher biodiversity and species richness, even when compared to land set aside for conservation purposes: the govern many Nations are rooted in principles for maintaining long-term, multi-generational ecological health. Resisting extractivism must mean supporting Indigenous sovereignty, returning stolen land, and learning from land-based knowledge, teachings and ways of life.
A few sources for more reading:
- “Just Transition as An Emerging Movement” panel
- “Why Indigenous voice matters in climate justice”, Indigenous Climate Action
- “Indigenous and Tribal Sovereignty: Policy Stances and Priorities” by Climate Justice Alliance
- Schuster, Richard, et al. “Vertebrate Biodiversity on Indigenous-Managed Lands in Australia, Brazil, and Canada Equals That in Protected Areas.” Environmental Science & Policy, vol. 101, 2019, pp. 1–6., doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2019.07.002.’