Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Losses

Robert Melchior Figueroa

in The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199566600
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Losses

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This article discusses a variety of experiences and philosophical reflections on cultural loss under an environmental justice framework, wherein ‘environmental justice’ is broadly construed as the conceptual connections, causal relationships, and strong correlations that exist between environmental issues and social justice. Environmental justice frames social issues as environmental issues. Social and environmental issues are inseparable, co-causally related, and always in a context that requires a political interpretation; in particular, such a consideration of justice accounts for power dynamics and socio-environmental practices that maintain historical relations, as well as the remedies for injustices. The primary argument of this article is that the environmental justice framework is a proper theoretical and practical approach to understanding the cultural loss among indigenous peoples caused by climate change. It emphasizes restorative justice philosophies and procedures that can address the future consequences of cultural loss.

Keywords: indigenous people; cultural loss; environmental identity; environmental heritage; environmental colonialism

Article.  7295 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy ; Comparative Politics

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