The inuit petition as a bridge? Beyond dialectics of climate change and indigenous peoples’ rights

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION The rapid pace of climate change in the Arctic poses serious challenges for the Inuit peoples living there. A petition filed with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in December 2005 on behalf of Inuit in the United States and Canada claims that U.S. climate change policy violates their rights. Upon filing the petition, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, made a statement at the 2005 Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. She summarized the severity of the stakes involved as follows: What is happening affects virtually every facet of Inuit life – we are a people of the land, ice, snow, and animals. Our hunting culture thrives on the cold. We need it to be cold to maintain our culture and way of life. Climate change has become the ultimate threat to Inuit culture.…How would you respond if an international assessment prepared by more than 300 scientists from 15 countries concluded that your age-old culture and economy was doomed, and that you were to become a footnote to globalization? The Inter-American Commission provided a two-paragraph response to the petition on November 16, 2006, that “the information provided does not enable us to determine whether the alleged facts would tend to characterize a violation of the rights protected by the American Declaration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdjudicating Climate Change
Subtitle of host publicationState, National, and International Approaches
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780511596766
ISBN (Print)9780521879705
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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