"Living on the Changing Planet: Why Indigenous Voices Matter for Debates on Climate Change"
Igor Krupnik, PhD, Smithsonian Institution
In today’s rapidly shifting debates about the future of our changing planet, perspectives and knowledge of the world’s indigenous peoples are being increasingly sought by scientists, decision makers, journalists, educators, and the general public. Why do the voices of Indigenous people matter, as they make such a small share of the world’s population and have little political power? Bringing indigenous peoples to the table introduces new elements to the global change discourse, concerning local scale, self-reliance, human rights, and immediate action. Krupnik addresses these issues through the contemporary experience of the Arctic residents and other indigenous peoples worldwide.
Krupnik is curator of Arctic and Northern Ethnology collections and head of the Ethnology Division at the National Museum of Natural History. Trained as cultural anthropologist and ecologist, Krupnik has worked for over four decades in Indigenous communities in Alaska and Bering Strait region. His area of expertise includes modern cultures, indigenous ecological knowledge, climate change and its impact on the people of the Arctic.
He published and coedited more than 20 books, catalogs, and heritage sourcebooks, and was the lead science curator for the Smithsonian exhibit Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely (2006). In 2012, for his role in building bridges among social and natural scientists, and polar Indigenous people, he was a awarded a medal from the International Arctic Science Committee.