Climate Voices

November 7, 2021
By: Kyle Hill, COP26 Delegate

Mni Wiconi (Water is life)

Boozhoo, I am here in Glasgow after a long trip across the pond – Minneapolis to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Edinburgh then trains to Glasgow. We pulled our luggage right up to a water ceremony, where we poured the remaining water from Minneapolis lakes into the River Clyde along with other Indigenous water protectors and land defenders from across the world.

We are at a pivotal moment where water is our most precious resource as a planet, where even areas in the midwest and Great Lakes have struggled with drought, leaving low water levels that posed great challenges to cultivation and harvest of another critical resource for Anishinaabe people: manoomin. Today, as Indigenous people came together to offer prayers for the water, there was a widely held belief that water is powerful, and represents a critical relationship for all of us. Altogether, offering the water to the River connected us with other Indigenous delegations, but also to the water from all over the globe.  Recognizing waters’ inherent right to collect, while we also gather to deliberate over important matters of environmental justice.

Tomorrow our delegation presents on climate justice on Turtle Island, and the intersection of Indigenous rights. Right now, I am so tired after being awake for 24 + hours, and need to get to bed. I am excited to present with my comrades and relatives at the Peoples’ Climate Summit.

Kyle Hill

Kyle Hill is Assistant Professor at the University of North Dakota, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dept. of Indigenous Health and Associate Faculty at Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for American Indian Health. He is a member of Climate Generation’s Window into COP26 Delegation this November. His primary area of research is Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledges, cultural engagement and how these practices are critical for both, health equity within Indigenous communities and adaptation/mitigation of climate change. Learn more about Kyle and subscribe to follow his experience at COP26.