Colloquium: Feb 8, 2019

Speaker: Dr. Kyle Whyte, Michigan State University

Title: It's Too Late for Indigenous Justice: Problems with Urgency in Climate Change Advocacy

Friday, February 8th at 2:30pm FRA 152



Climate change activism and scientific assessments often emphasizes that humans must grasp the urgency of taking swift and decisive actions to address an environmental crisis. Yet many such conceptions of urgency obscure the factors that Indigenous peoples have called out as the most pressing concerns about climate justice. This obfuscation explains, in part, why climate change advocacy remains largely unrelated to Indigenous efforts to achieve justice and engage in decolonial actions. I will show why a politics of urgency can be based in assumptions about the relationship among time (temporality) and environmental change that are antithetical to allyship with Indigenous peoples. I will contrast the temporality of urgency with some Indigenous traditions of temporality that center moral qualities of kinship relationships, such as consent, trust and reciprocity, and suggest that such Indigenous traditions articulate crucial conditions for climate justice, moving forward.