The Never-Ending Cycle

Kyle Whyte’s “Our Ancestors’ Dystopia Now: Indigenous Conservation and the Anthropocene” had some very interesting points about the idea of climate change and its relation to indigenous peoples. On the topic of climate change, he proposed that indigenous tribes have already been forced to go through similar crises that the whole world is going through today. While the rest of the world was oblivious to their issues, indigenous peoples were having to learn to live without some of their most crucial species of plants and animals. Now, as the rest of the world is facing climate problems, indigenous peoples are the only ones who have experienced this before. As Whyte said in his video interview, indigenous peoples are going to climate scientists in the hopes of discussing environmental issues, when perhaps it should be the other way around. Considering indigenous peoples are the ones with real experience involving climate crises, Whyte speculates that it may be more fitting for the climate scientists to come to indigenous peoples and ask advice.

Another interesting idea brought up during the video interview had to do with the affects that climate change can have on mental health, especially the mental health of indigenous peoples. This was something I had never even considered before, but it does make a lot of sense that there would be a strong relationship between these two things. Being so connected to the environment around them, having to see their surroundings crumble around them would surely have a strong impact on the mental health of indigenous peoples. It may even have an impact on non-indigenous peoples, but considering how dependent on and connected to the environment native tribes are, it’s especially prevalent in indigenous peoples. Having their everyday life and their spirituality stem from their surrounding environment, to have to see it be destroyed by settlers and affected by foreign lifestyles would have a heavy influence on their mental health.

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