Indigenous Women, Climate Change Impacts, and Collective Action

Citation:

Whyte, Kyle Powys. 2014. “Indigenous Women, Climate Change Impacts, and Collective Action.” Hypatia 29 (3): 599–616.

Author: Kyle Powys Whyte

Abstract:

Indigenous peoples must adapt to current and coming climate‐induced environmental changes like sea‐level rise, glacier retreat, and shifts in the ranges of important species. For some indigenous peoples, such changes can disrupt the continuance of the systems of responsibilities that their communities rely on self‐consciously for living lives closely connected to the earth. Within this domain of indigeneity, some indigenous women take seriously the responsibilities that they may perceive they have as members of their communities. For the indigenous women who have such outlooks, responsibilities that they assume in their communities expose them to harms stemming from climate change impacts and other environmental changes. Yet at the same time, their commitment to these responsibilities motivates them to take on leadership positions in efforts at climate change adaptation and mitigation. I show why, at least for some indigenous women, this is an important way of framing the climate change impacts that affect them. I then argue that there is an important implication in this conversation for how we understand the political responsibilities of nonindigenous parties for supporting distinctly indigenous efforts at climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Indigenous

Year: 2014

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