Native Peoples Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop a Huge Success

Close to 400 tribal leaders, elders, scholars and students join together to share Indigenous perspectives and solutions.

Honor the Earth spent several months working with a host of partners to convene a climate change workshop that brought hundreds of tribal college students together with elders, spiritual leaders and some of the most brilliant Native scholars and front-line activists in Indian Country.

The Native Peoples Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop II took place November 18-21 on the homelands of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Minnesota. Winona co-chaired the workshop with Dr. Dan Wildcat of Haskell Indian Nations University. Sponsored by NASA’s Tribal College and University Program and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the workshop was a great way to involve students in the development of clean energy, climate mitigation and green jobs curriculum, training and capacity building.

The workshop drew the attention of the White House, who sent three representatives of the Council on Environmental Quality for a “listening session.” Along with sharing the devastating tales of climate impacts, presenters and participants focused on proactive strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation. At Honor’s recommendation, several of our Building Resilience in Indigenous Communities grantees were brought to the workshop, along with long-time partners in the fields of renewable energy and indigenous agriculture, to highlight the need for increased restoration of local food, power and sustainability in our communities as essential survival strategies.

The workshop resulted in the Mystic Lake Declaration, a landmark statement reflecting the unified position of the Indigenous leaders present. The Declaration, which presents an Indigenous view of the climate change problem and outlines immediate action needed, will be presented at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December.

Thanks to all who helped make the workshop a huge success!

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