From the Amazon, Indigenous People Offer New Compass to Navigate Climate Change
November 9, 2021
Indigenous Peoples protest at the ‘Luta Pela Vida’ (struggle for life) protest, in August 2021, in Brasilia, Brazil. Photo by Vanessa Andreotti
PWIAS Interim Director, Vanessa Andreotti and 2021 Wall Scholar Dallas Hunt along with UBC professors Cash Ahenakew, Sharon Stein, and Will Valley recently published a piece in The Conversation about addressing global challenges by reorienting ourselves away from reproducing harm and toward fostering more generative possibilities for co-existence.
Chief Ninawa Huni Kui and the Last Warning Education Campaign
The article references an the Last Warning education campaign about deforestation and Indigenous rights in Brazil that was launched last summer in collaboration with Amazon rainforest and Indigenous rights in Brazil that was launched last summer in collaboration with the Huni Kui Indigenous People’s Federation in the Amazon.
One of the flagships of the campaign is the children’s book “A forest called Amazon” authored by Chief Ninawa Huni Kui and produced with the support of the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures arts/research collective at UBC. The book is available to download for free. Another educational resource available is the “Pledge of Generations“, which invites new commitments across generations to face global challenges with deeper levels of responsibility. A knowledge mobilization video with 15 Canada Research Chairs in related areas has also been collaboratively created to highlight the importance of the Amazon region for the regulation of global water cycles and carbon filtration and the urgency of making Indigenous rights central to the climate agenda. The video and a featured article emphasize that more deforestation will push the Amazon beyond a tipping point, turning it from a rainforest into a savanna. The Amazon will go from being a vital carbon sink that helps us slow down climate change to a dangerous carbon source that will accelerate the heating of the planet.
Chief Ninawa Huni Kui, spokesperson for nearly 17,000 Indigenous people in 104 villages across 12 Indigenous territories in the Amazon, joins PWIAS as a visiting scholar in November 2021 where he will be working with the Wall Scholars and other collaborators to address the many complex systems at play in the cancelation of Indigenous rights in Brazil, the destruction of the Amazon forest.
The next phase of the Last Warning campaign will be launched during an extended visit to UBC in 2022.