Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Change

Saturday, February 18, 2012: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Room 212 (VCC West Building)
The indigenous populations of the Earth's northern latitudes have acquired a solid traditional understanding of the way that their environments work, through an experiential knowledgebase that goes back many generations. As some of the people most heavily affected by the early effects of modern anthropogenic climate change, they have knowledge about, and perspectives on, climate in the environments of their traditional homelands that researchers trained in Western scientific methodology are finding increasingly valuable. Conversely, individuals from these indigenous populations have also sought training in Western climate science and are doing cutting-edge research on the history, effects, and progress of climate change in the northlands and elsewhere, with their university-based scientific training in many cases reinforced by traditional perspectives in ways that enhance the results. The presentations in this symposium will showcase some of that research, as well as thoughts on the contributions that indigenous perspectives can make to the understanding of climate change, particularly when nonindigenous scientists have taken care to acquire the necessary knowledge and viewpoints about working effectively and respectfully with the people who are living the environmental changes that the scientists are studying.
Robert E. Megginson, University of Michigan
Robert E. Megginson, University of Michigan
Edward Doolittle, First Nations University of Canada
Elizabeth C. Weatherhead, University of Colorado
Why Physical Climate Change Scientists Need To Listen to Indigenous Voices
Jeannine-Marie St. Jacques, University of Regina
Impacts of Megadroughts on North American Native Cultures and Civilizations
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