Lynn & Whyte: “Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change and the Government-to-Government Relationship”

Kathy Lynn and Kyle Powys Whyte have posted “Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change and the Government-to-Government Relationship” on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Climate change impacts present indigenous peoples with distinct challenges, from the loss of species needed for subsistence practices like fishing and plant gathering, to coastal erosion that may force some communities to migrate away from areas they have inhabited or used for many years. Students, activists, environmental managers, scholars and corporate and political leaders of all heritages should be aware of how indigenous peoples must address climate change impacts from global to community-level scales, and the obstacles they may encounter due to intersecting oppressions, like cultural imperialism and disempowerment. To create such awareness, there is a need for more work that describes the specific sites of interaction relevant to indigenous peoples and climate change. Sites of interaction are the local and regional places where indigenous peoples are in relationships with governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), networks and alliances. Better understanding the relationships that indigenous peoples have with these groups and institutions contributes to fostering unique and necessary indigenous approaches to address climate change that reflect their unique cultural connections to the earth. This paper focuses on one of the critical sites of interaction for indigenous peoples in the United States — the government-to-government relationship. While the government-to-government relation is not a new approach, this paper examines how it might operate in indigenous climate change adaptation contexts in the United States. We describe a set of examples of consultation and collaboration and offer seven recommendations that demonstrate the value of tribal responses to climate change.

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