Indigenous and Ecological Economics are rooted in the similar values - relationships and interconnections with ecosystems. As society grapples with a growing climate crisis and faltering economies Indigneous peoples across the globe are proposing a return to the sacred, a return to relationships with each other and the lands. At this gathering we will dive into discussions, workshops, panels and presentations led by Indigenous leaders, practitioners and scholars to redefine ecological economics from an Indigenous perspective. By empowering our communities to reclaim our economic systems built on millenia of knowledge and practice we can help craft the needs and direction of what new Indigenous-led climate policies and economic paradigms call look like. The gathering will involve:
- Indigenous and participant-led discussions in breakout sessions,
- Indigenous ceremony and workshops,
- “problem labs” to articulate Indigenous views on “ecological economics”,
- Indigenous keynote speakers and experts, and
- safe spaces for Indigenous peoples to discuss, strategize and reclaim our relationships with each other and our lands and territories.
Why an Indigenous gathering on “Ecological Economics”?
Ecological Economics is the study of relationships and interactions between economies and the ecosystems that support them. It brings together research in economics, ecology and other social and natural sciences that aim to understand how environmental sustainability and economic abundance can emerge together. Ecological economics is a relatively new discipline, and increasingly, researchers in this field are turning towards Indigenous Peoples’ traditional knowledge.
In 2019, Indigenous Climate Action’s Executive Director, Eriel Deranger, was invited by CANSEE to offer reflections as a keynote at their “Engaging Economies of Change'' Conference. The conference was filled with hopeful discussion, workshops and presentations on ecological economics but lacked strong participation and leadership from Indigenous peoples. Deranger found this troubling as many of the presenters were taking from Indigenous knowledge systems and repackaging what Indigenous Peoples have been doing for thousands of years as a new discipline. Deranger challenged CANSEE to take a new approach and re-centre Indigenous voice, leadership and peoples in ecological economic and the discourse leading the way. CANSEE rose to the challenge to partner with ICA. The result is this event - engaging Indigenous scholars and leaders, more broadly, in an Indigenous-led space to discuss the concept of ecological economics from the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples.