Embracing Indigenous Knowledge in Climate Justice: Lessons from the Māori Peoples

Indigenous populations around the world are disproportionately impacted by climate change, as colonialism and forced assimilation have systematically marginalized these traditional communities. Despite possessing an intimate knowledge of ecological sustainability, neoliberalism and structural violence have unjustly increased the vulnerability of Indigenous communities to the negative socio-environmental impacts of climate change. This paper will briefly explore the disproportionate effects of climate change on Indigenous communities in diverse global contexts, narrowing in on the experiences of Māori peoples in New Zealand. Next, it will explore the 2021 Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi Climate Change Strategy, developed by Te Kaahui o Rauru in partnership with the Ministry for the Environment in New Zealand, and identify the key socio-environmental strengths embodied in this collaborative approach. Lastly, this paper will provide broad recommendations for policy and practice as it pertains to establishing meaningful and respectful relationships between Indigenous and Westernized communities in diverse global contexts.

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