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Justice for Women Lecture - Reader's Guide: 2021


Introducer and Moderator


Joaqlin Estus is a national correspondent for the Alaska bureau of Indian Country Today. She covers everything from climate change, COVID-19, and resource development to the lack of broadband in Indian Country and homelessness. Estus has been a reporter for several radio stations in Alaska as well at Minnesota Public Radio, and also served as director of public communications for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.


Joan Naviyuk Kane is an Inupiaq author of several collections of poetry and prose. She teaches creative writing at Harvard University, is a lecturer in the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora at Tufts University. She was a founding faculty member of the graduate creative writing program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is a 2020-2021 Visiting Fellow of Race and Ethnicity at The Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University, and is the 2021 Mary Routt Endowed Chair of Creative Writing and Journalism at Scripps College. Naviyuk Kane has worked extensively with tribes, Native corporations, non-profits, foundations, and governmental and inter-governmental clients throughout the circumpolar north.


The Impact of Climate Change on Indigenous Women Around the World

The 2021 Justice For Women Lecture will be presented online to virtually bring together an amazing lineup of indigenous women from around the world, on April 15, 2021. The Lecture will kick off with a special message from Representative Deb Haaland and a reading by Joan Naviyuk Kane, Inupiaq writer, Harvard, Scripps, and Tufts faculty. The panel will be moderated by Joaqlin Estus, national correspondent for the Alaska Bureau of Indian Country Today.


Galina Angarova, BURYAT (a Russian Indigenous people)

Angarova is currently serving as the executive director of Cultural Survival, an Indigenous-led NGO and U.S. registered non-profit advocating for the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Previously, she worked as program officer at the Swift Foundation, as representative of the Indigenous Peoples’ Major Group at the UN, and was the Russia program director at Pacific Environment, where she organized direct actions against large resource extraction projects in Siberia and the Russian Far East.. Angarova holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of New Mexico and a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Teaching Pegagogy from Buryat State University.@angalya

Quannah ChasingHorse, HAN GWICH'IN and OGLALA LAKOTA

ChasingHorse is an Indigenous land protector for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, protecting those sacred lands from oil development and fighting for climate justice. Her deep connection to the lands and her people’s way of life guides and informs everything she does and stands for.

Featured by Vice (11 Young Climate Justice Activist You Need to Pay Attention To), Greta Thunberg, Teen Vogue, The Rising, and Jane Fonda. @quannah.rose

Sherri Mitchell - Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset, PENOBSCOT

Sherri Mitchell -Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian reservation. Mitchell is the founding director of the Land Peace Foundation, an organization dedicated to the global protection of Indigenous rights and the preservation of the Indigenous way of life, and currently serves as an advisor to the Indigenous Elders and Medicine People’s Council of North and South America. Mitchell received the Mahoney Dunn International Human Rights and Humanitarian Award, for research into Human Rights violations against Indigenous Peoples and is the author of the award- winning book Sacred Instructions; Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change. She received her J.D. and a certificate in Indigenous People’s Law and Policy from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. @Sherri Mitchell Weh'na Ha'mu Kwasset

Sara Olsvig, INUIT

Olsvig is the current chairwoman of Greenland’s Human Rights Council and an assigned member of the Constitutional Commission of Greenland. She previously served as a member of the Parliament of Denmark and the Parliament of Greenland, has been leader of the political party Inuit Ataqatigiit, and formerly worked as executive director for the Inuit Circumpolar Council Greenland, of which she is now a delegate to the Council. Olsvig lives in Nuuk with her partner and their children. @SaraOlsvig


Background materials

The United Nations Development Guide for Indigenous Peoples' Issues (2009) declared these guiding principles on environmental issues:

  • Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and productive capacity of the environment.
  • The spiritual relationship of indigenous peoples to their lands and territories and environmentally sustainable practices have been recognized and conservation efforts on indigenous lands, including the establishment of new and management of existing protected areas, have to take place with the free, prior and informed consent and full participation of the communities concerned.
  • Indigenous peoples have traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and their knowledge and practices should be recognized and respected, including their rights to benefit sharing.
  • In the case of climate change, indigenous communities have contributed the least to the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases because of their traditional practices, yet they are among the first to face direct adverse environmental, social and human consequences of climate change. Consequently, indigenous peoples must fully participate in the definition and implementation of policies and plans related to climate change impact mitigation.

Emphasis added. U.N. Development Group Guidelines on Indigenous Peoples' Issues (pdf) at page 19, last visited March 30, 2021.


Reading time estimates: readometer

  1. UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Link
  2. Chris Meyer and Estebancio Castro, What the Paris Agreement’s references to indigenous peoples mean, Environmental Defense Fund (February 25, 2016) Link (~3 min.)
  3. International Labour Office, Indigenous peoples and climate change (Geneva 2017) (pdf). (Executive Summary ~7 min)
  4. Indigenous women balance identity, gender and politics when in power, UN Human Rights Commission, August 9, 2019. (~5 min.) Link
  5. Indigenous Women Are Championing Climate Justice, Open Society Foundations (January 19, 2021). Link (~4 min)

SCHOLARSHIP (hyperlink to open access source)

  1. Martha Dowsley, Shari Gearheard, Noor Johnson and Jocelyn Inksetter, Should we turn the tent? Inuit women and climate change, 34 Études / Inuit / Studies 151 (2010). Link (short paper) (22 min.)
  2. Kyle Powys Whyte, Indigenous women, climate change impacts, and collective action. 29 Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 599 (2014). Link
  3. Tahnee Lisa Prior and Leena Heinämäki, The Rights and Role of Indigenous Women in Climate Change Regime. Arctic Review 8 (2017). Link


  1. Sherri Mitchell, Sacred Instructions (North Atlantic Books 2018)
  2. Katharine K. Wilkinson (Editor) Ayana Elizabeth Johnson (Editor), All We Can Save (One World 2020)


Cultural Survival - partners with indigenous communities on international human rights issues

Foro Internacional de Mujeres Indigenas (FIMI) - global network that unites indigenous women from the seven sociocultural regions. We are focused on political advocacy, training and leadership development.

Indigenous Environmental Network - grassroots network of Indigenous leaders and communities across Turtle Island fighting for Environmental Justice and the Rights of Mother Earth

Land Peace Foundation - preserves and promotes Indigenous way of Life

MADRE - works with indigenous and rural women on issues including climate justice

Tebtebba - Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education (based in Philippines)

Related events:

April 5, 2021 2:00 pm Maine Public "Speaking in Maine" Camden Conference - Geopolitics of the Arctic: Arctic Indigenous Communities and Cultures link