Purpose of this course

The inspiration for this course comes from discussions with practitioners in the field of climate adaptation and the Adaptation Learning Network project, a project led by the ResilienceByDesign Lab at Royal Roads University. The latter project was designed to support climate adaptation capacity building with a range of professionals working with adaptation including, engineers and geoscientists, planners, foresters, biologists, agrologists, landscape architects and representatives from five post-secondary institutions. The goal of the course is to support the capacity of non-Indigenous professionals working on climate adaptation projects and initiatives with and within Indigenous communities, to work in good and respectful ways. It is also envisioned as a general resource for others wishing to learn more about Indigenous worldviews and perspectives on climate change, the environment, and environmental management.

The course responds not only to a recognition of the urgency of the need for action to address climate change, but also importantly, a recognition of the role that colonization and dominant cultural practices have played in creating the climate crisis. Indigenous communities and peoples are both on the front line of the impacts of climate change, and the front line of calling on governments, businesses, institutions and citizens for action on climate through Indigenous led greenhouse gas emissions reductions, climate adaptation and resilience measures, and importantly, demanding meaningful action on reconciliation and decolonization as foundational to our capacity to generate effective solutions to climate change.

Climate action must be informed by a commitment to Indigenous rights and to policies, practices, and strategies that reflect a commitment to decolonization and reconciliation. As settlers, we all have a responsibility to learn about our own histories and the history of Indigenous peoples in the context of colonization. Approaching the work of climate action from a commitment to decolonization and reconciliation contributes to our capacity to engage in good ways as we work alongside and with Indigenous peoples and communities in climate action initiatives and projects. It also contributes to the ongoing work of systemic change as outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Report and in the commitments Canada has made as a signatory to the Paris Climate Agreement.


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Indigenous Knowledges and Perspectives on Climate Adaptation Copyright © by Royal Roads University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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