About the Project

The overall aim of the project is to identify what it means to “live well” with the Earth in the face of a climate/ecological crisis, asking the question “What does a self-determined climate future look like for Indigenous communities and peoples?”

Over the past few years, climate change/justice has become a central focus for Indigenous peoples, with climate emergencies declared by numerous First Nations and the Assembly of First Nations. By applying IEJ theoretical foundations to Indigenous climate futures, this 4-year project will provide a deep understanding of climate justice issues facing Indigenous peoples and propose viable approaches to seeking a sustainable climate future on Indigenous peoples’ own terms.

The research team is comprised of 3 Anishinaabek scholars, Dr. Deborah McGregor, Dr. Alan Corbiere, and Dr. Lisa Myers. Together they collaborate on a shared interest in the well-being of future generations and the planet, with the bulk of the research conducted with Anishinaabe communities in the Great Lakes region.

This project will document desired “Indigenous climate future(s)” described by youth, Elders, and other Indigenous knowledge-holders and share them with diverse audiences in peer-reviewed journal articles, workshops, podcasts, videos, language resources, social media, graphic novel formats, presentations and other knowledge-sharing modes identified by the communities with whom we work.

Our specific objectives are to:

1. Document and advance understanding of Indigenous (Anishinabek) “wellbeing with all life” by enhancing the voices and experiences of Indigenous peoples in climate change dialogue in Canada and elsewhere.

2. Strengthen and revitalize Indigenous languages and ways of knowing. This will involve the use of oral tradition/storytelling, land-based knowledge and language activities, based on priorities identified by Elders and youth as ways to enhance Indigenous resilience.

3. Share Indigenous climate change knowledge with Indigenous communities, governments, policy-makers, academics, climate scientists/researchers, ENGO’s, and the public. Multi-media formats will be emphasized with a focus on supporting Indigenous decision-making and governance.

This project builds on the scholarship generated in the Dr. Deborah McGregor’s SSHRC-funded research “Indigenous Environmental (In)justice: Theory and Practice.” This research delineated a distinct formulation of IEJ based on Indigenous legal orders, knowledge systems, and conceptions of justice.