In the past couple days our Indigenous delegation with Climate Generation has presented on two panels, one on climate justice on Turtle Island, and another on Indigenous resistance to the Line 3 pipeline.
In both instances we advocated for Indigenous rights, sovereignty and self-determination in the wake of extractive projects that have only caused irreparable harm to our Indigenous communities and land in Minnesota and the region.
Presenting at COP26, representing our relatives and people that could not come here has been a honor, as all of our delegates have stood as land defenders and water protectors back home in the U.S. We have been careful to recognize our people, and the lands that we come from.
Tomorrow, we are excited to attend the New York Times Climate Hub throughout the day. Several of us are also preparing to travel back to the U.S. and need to take PCR COVID-19 tests to travel.
In the last days of our experience we are energized and grateful to spend time with Indigenous relatives from across the globe, but also disappointed at the lack of urgency by elected leaders of our governments. Much of the discussion of intervention to the climate crisis has involved a simultaneous bail out of our economy, as if somehow capitalism stood to lose.
However, it is the vulnerable and marginalized communities that stand to lose with the current trajectory of climate change. This is not climate JUSTICE.
We need solutions to the climate crisis that operate across the intersectional quality of inequity in our communities, while also engaging Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge as a sustainable future. I am grateful that our delegation is made up of Indigenous community members, reminding the world that we are still here, on a global stage, and we will keep showing up, we will keep fighting, for generations yet to come. We will keep fighting and standing for our water, our lands, our languages, our cultures and our peoples, no matter the cost.
Weweni sa (Take care).
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.