Despite making up a tiny fraction of the world’s population, Indigenous Peoples hold ancestral rights to some 65 percent of the planet. This poignant fact speaks well to the enormous role that Indigenous Peoples play not only as environmental stewards, but as political actors on the global stage.
We’re seeing that role play out right now on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota; but there are hundreds of other indigenous struggles just like that almost never make headlines.
All over the world today, Indigenous Peoples are confronting the destructive practices of industry—leading the charge against climate change while defending the lakes, forests and food systems that all of us depend on. At the same time, they are blocking governments from weakening basic rights and freedoms and turning to the courts of the world to correct over 500 years of historical wrongs. And all the while, Indigenous Peoples are breathing new life into the biocultural legacies that have the potential to sustain the entire human race until the sun goes nova.
Since most media outlets have a tendency to ignore this storied legacy—to make more room for Donald Trump’s narcissistic personality disorder, among other things—we present you today with a few choice reads to help bring you up to speed.