The Power of Participatory Dialogue: Why Talking About Climate Change Matters

Authors

  • Kate Cave Department of Environment and Resource Studies University of Waterloo
  • Paul General Six Nations Eco-Centre, Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada
  • Jodi Johnston Department of Geography and Environmental Studies Wilfrid Laurier University Waterloo, Ontario
  • Bradley May Adaptation and Impact Research Section, Environment Canada, Canada
  • Deb McGregor Geography and Aboriginal Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Ryan Plummer Professor, Department of Tourism and Environment, Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada Senior Research Fellow, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Peigi Wilson Environmental and aboriginal law and policy consultant. Member, Board of Directors, Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources National Trustee, Canadian Parks and Wildlife Society

Abstract

Climate change is one of the most important contemporary issues and it has become the routine focus of meetings, workshops, and conferences. This paper is about a transboundary dialogue on climate change and water in the Great Lakes Basin of North America. The event is unique because it brought Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together to engage in a participatory dialogue to explore the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of Indigenous peoples. Months after the event, the participants were contacted to see if they were interested in collaborating further on a reflective paper. The individuals who expressed an interest in doing so thus embarked on an exciting journey that resulted in this paper. It is structured into the following three sections: the first section conveys background information on the issue, the second section succinctly describes the approach taken, and the final section shares some of the insights the authors’ gained upon reflection.

Author Biographies

Kate Cave, Department of Environment and Resource Studies University of Waterloo

Paul General, Six Nations Eco-Centre, Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada

Jodi Johnston, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies Wilfrid Laurier University Waterloo, Ontario

Bradley May, Adaptation and Impact Research Section, Environment Canada, Canada

Deb McGregor, Geography and Aboriginal Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Ryan Plummer, Professor, Department of Tourism and Environment, Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada Senior Research Fellow, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Peigi Wilson, Environmental and aboriginal law and policy consultant. Member, Board of Directors, Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources National Trustee, Canadian Parks and Wildlife Society

References

Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources. (2008). Climate Change and First Nations South of 60: Impacts, Adaptation, and Priorities. Author: Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Mascarenhas, M. (2007). Where the waters divide: First Nations, tainted water and environmental justice in Canada. Local Environment, 12(6), 565–577.

Mortsch, L., Alden, M. and Scheraga, J.D. (2003). Climate change and water quality in the Great Lakes region. In Climate Change and Water Quality in the Great Lakes Basin. Report of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board to the International Joint Commission. Available from the International Joint Commission (commission@ottawa.ijc.org).

Plummer, R., General, P., Cave, K. and May, B. (2009). A Transboundary Dialogue on Climate Change and Water in the Great Lakes Basin: Exploring the Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity of Aboriginal Peoples. Available online: www.indigenousadaptationnetwork.com

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