Climate Week 2020 September 21–27
Indigenous people, as the original people, have always known that we humans are connected to each other and to the Earth. Since ancient times we have maintained traditional practices that enhance our humanity. We know that it is natural to have feelings and to express them. Our traditional practices include healing from hurtful experiences by listening to each other and sharing our stories.
In this forum, Indigenous people from around the world will share how our people, our land, and our existence are impacted by the climate emergency and how we are organizing to stop it. It is an opportunity to learn from the personal experiences of people who are the most impacted by environmental destruction and the climate emergency.
At intervals during the forum, participants will take turns listening to each other in pairs. In this way, everyone will have a chance to process what they have heard, tell their own story, and express any feelings they have about the climate crisis. Sharing like this can be a powerful way to strengthen our resolve, commitment, and activism.
All are welcome to attend. Indigenous people are invited to sign-up in advance if they would like to speak (speaking times are limited).
The Work of SAL and UER
It is possible to limit the effects of human-caused climate change and restore the environment—and some big changes are needed if this is to happen. Sustaining All Life (SAL) and United to End Racism (UER) believe the environmental crisis cannot be resolved without ending racism, genocide of Indigenous peoples, classism, sexism, and other oppressions. The impact of environmental destruction and climate change falls most heavily on the groups targeted by these oppressions, and on other vulnerable populations (including populations of people who are elderly, disabled and very young).
To build a movement powerful enough to resolve the climate crisis, SAL and UER believe that the following barriers must be overcome: (1) longstanding divisions between nations and between groups of people caused by oppression (especially by racism, genocide of Indigenous people, and classism), (2) wide-spread feelings of discouragement and powerlessness, (3) a too-slow response to the escalating damage to the earth’s climate, (4) difficulties in effectively addressing the connections between the environmental crisis and the failures of our economic system.
We have found that these barriers are most quickly overcome as people heal from the mental and emotional harm caused by oppression. SAL and UER events provide opportunities for people to take turns listening to each other while encouraging emotional release. We become better able to think, speak out, organize, unite, and lead others in building a sustainable world.
SAL and UER are projects of and use the tools of Re-evaluation Counseling, which currently exists in 95 countries.