The climate crisis has caused us to reconsider our consumerist lifestyles and turn to Indigenous peoples to learn from their superior understanding of living in harmony with nature. Here is a list of five organizations and eco-charities you should check out if you are looking to make a difference and support a movement that is sustainable and Indigenous-led.
Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network brings together young people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage to fight for a future that prioritizes climate justice and sustainability.
Their campaigns are supported by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), which understands that the key to combating climate change is to empower younger generations. If you’d like to offer support, then you can sign the petition to convince Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ban any governmental support of new coal and gas projects, or the petition to ban fracking in the region.
As the organizers of Seed say, “we are the caretakers, protection of the country is at the very core of our culture and connection to the land and sea. It is the teaching of the Dreaming.”
Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)
The overarching goal behind IEN is to continue imparting ancestral knowledge about land management to today’s generations, regardless of their heritage and ancestry. The IEN grassroots effort began in the US in 1990 and is focused on educating and empowering the Indigenous community while protecting the environment, human health, and animals through sustainable lifestyles and influencing policies that affect Indigenous Peoples locally and internationally.
The group has many campaigns, including the “Keep it in the Ground” campaign which works to inform the public about the Keystone XL, Line 3, and No DAPL, the “Just Transition” campaign that strives to shift people’s perception of natural resources as products, and the “Save our Roots” campaign, that highlights a range of land and water issues.
Forest Peoples Program (FPP)
Forested areas play a huge role in the lives of many Indigenous groups who rely on them for protection, shelter, food, and materials for home goods, trade, and industry. These communities are trying to preserve their relationship with forests in a world that disregards their lifestyle, so FPP’s goal is to give these communities a voice in the political sphere.
The “Free Prior and Informed Consent” (FPIC) campaign gives Indigenous peoples the right to approve or deny the use of their ancestral lands by outsiders, and “self determination” backs up communities’ rights to preserve their own political, economic, social, and cultural practices.
Women’s Earth Alliance, Sacred Earth Advocacy Network
This network is led by Indigenous women across North America who are on a mission to identify and enforce federal environmental laws and customary international law. It urges governments to reform their laws surrounding grassroots solutions for climate, economy, water, energy, food, cultural preservation, health, safety, education, and more. It also provides support for other women-led Indigenous environmental justice groups through their well-established nationwide network comprised of legal professionals and activists.
The Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ)
The CCAEJ wants to amplify the voice of the planet by advocating for it from a community perspective. Communities come together to share ideas and plan solutions for social and environmental problems. The idea behind the CCAEJ is to empower people to come up with systems that address the needs of the community while respecting the planet. As it reads on the website: “We believe in a zero-emission future and in regenerative and sustainable communities.”