6 Indigenous-Led COP26 Events You Can Stream

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on November 5, 2021

ijicj_largeThe 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) is currently taking place in Glasgow, Scotland where an international group of academics, policymakers, artists, youth activists, and other grassroots visionaries are meeting to contend with the many dire challenges and collaborative opportunities posed by the ongoing climate crisis. News from the convening-in-progress reveals that more than forty countries have pledged to shift away from using coal and nearly 100 nations have pledged to cut methane emissions substantially in an effort to slow global heating. Alongside these significant top-down decisions that will reshape policy around the globe, the conference also features a host of presentations that speak to the place-based knowledge, local efforts, and fundamental mindset shifts that must accompany policy change. This year, many of these events are being led by Indigenous people and/or underscore Indigenous ways of conceiving of the natural world and its relationship to humanity.

Below is a curated list of conference events that speak to these intersections—all of which can be streamed for free during and after each event—that includes an excerpt from each event’s promotional materials: 

Why Culture Matters
Saturday, November 6th, 2021: 9 - 10am EST

“The traditional knowledge of Indigenous communities is crucial in the global fight for nature and against climate change. Science proves that Indigenous peoples are the best guardians of the land. [The presenters] will discuss the importance of the protection of Indigenous cultures in the conservation of biodiversity and the work that The Cultural Sanctuaries Foundation is doing to help ensure that we protect the protectors.”

Ancient Knowledge and Modern Thinking: Climate Perspectives in Folk Art
Sunday, November 7th, 2021: 8 - 9:30am EST 

“In a fascinating event, Indigenous artists and experts from The Open University and Glasgow Life will explore the connections between culture, citizens, and climate by examining three works of art from Glasgow Museums’ World Cultures collection. Indigenous artists will discuss the meaning behind these artworks in a series of three short films, which bring to life some of the cultural and creative practices in India, Ecuador and the Arctic. The in-person academic panel will examine the local climate adaptation actions championed by communities in these locations and invite participants to consider how the resilience they show can inspire a more sustainable way of life.”

Unlocking Climate Solutions: From the Pacific Islands to the Arctic, Why Indigenous Knowledge Must Take Center Stage
Monday, November 8th, 2021: 5 - 6:30pm EST nous PeoplesNaturePanelYouth

“One Young World, the global forum for young leaders, in collaboration with the British Museum and the Republic of Palau, is hosting an immersive panel at the Cinema Auditorium. The discussion will surround the symbiotic relationship between people and nature, highlighting the importance of amplifying and learning from the voices and work of Indigenous communities when it comes to the safeguarding of our natural world. Featuring speakers hailing from both Arctic and Pacific Island communities, this panel will serve to highlight the key learnings in adaptation and resilience from these two unique communities.”

Walk in Beauty: Future Dreaming Through Indigenous Knowledges and Western Science
Tuesday, November 9th, 2021: 4 - 5:30am EST

“The Groundswell Climate Collective and the Center for Emergent Diplomacy are co-facilitating an interactive workshop that speaks to the skills and knowledge needed to prepare for surviving in the near-term future in harmony with our Living Systems. Working together with workshop attendees, we introduce Indigenous Knowledges, Futurisms, and the ‘Adjacent Possible’ solutions waiting to be discovered, offering resilience in the face of paralyzing complexity and rapidly expanding global warming. This participatory workshop is designed as a collaborative dialogue with attendees.”

Being Salmon, Being Human
Thursday, November 11th, 2021: 8 - 9am EST 

“The acclaimed storytelling and yoik performance ‘Being Salmon, Being Human’ is inspired by Dr. Martin Lee Mueller’s award-winning book by the same name. The performance takes us on a journey through the extraordinary lives of wild salmon – sentient beings who are born in rivers, traverse the oceans, and return towards the end of their lives to their birth rivers to spawn and gift forward more life. Together we take a deep-dive into the pancultural encounter between humans and their wild and domesticated animal companions, into stories told since time immemorial, practical knowledge passed on through the generations, and wisdom carried into our time through ancient music. We encounter some of the warriors who have recently stood up in defence of traditional fishing rights and territories. And we encounter her, the sentient being.”

Minga Indígena Declaration Letter for COP26 Leaders
Friday, November 12, 2021: 8:30 - 10am EST

“Minga Indígena, a civil society organization born in the Andes, brings Indigenous leaders—youth and elders— from all over the world. At COP26 they will present the first chapter of the docuseries “Aprendiendo a Ser Humanos. Learning To Be Human” produced alongside The Allianza, which features thirteen elders and protectors of the most iconic territories of the world sharing wisdom that is crucial to buffer extreme weather events across regions, with the intention of inspiring others. Three Indigenous youth will then read and hand in a collective Letter to members of the IPCC and of the COP26 Presidency as well as the Champion, with a special request that their petitions be included in climate negotiations.”

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