The re-indigenization of humanity to Mother Earth: a learning platform to cultivate social-ecological resilience and challenge the Anthropocene.

Iain MacKinnon, Lewis Williams, Arianna Waller

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    Abstract

    Human beings today are living in times of unprecedented social and ecological
    crisis, a crisis that is to a significant degree of human making. The impending arrival of the
    Anthropocene geological epoch gives this crisis a name. As academics with a sense of
    responsibility for our relationships with planetary kin, the awareness of unfolding crisis calls
    on us to reach a deeper understanding of assumptions about the world, and of modes of living
    that these assumptions permit, which have been a human contribution to crisis. Furthermore,
    the Anthropocene calls us to act upon our new understanding. Taking modern European
    imperialism as a key generative force in the development of Anthropocene, we provocatively
    develop the idea in this article that the life-ways and worldviews of Indigenous Peoples
    colonized by European imperialism – including, potentially, marginalized and suppressed
    life-ways and worldviews of Indigenous Europeans – may hold critical insights by which to
    negotiate the Anthropocene and to challenge and change habits of thought and action that
    have led us to its threshold.
    In doing so we outline the rationale behind the Alliance for Intergenerational Resilience
    (AIR) whose objective is to build social-ecological resilience by connecting and supporting
    locally based projects for the innovative and renovative co-evolution of social and ecological
    systems. AIR aims to generate inter-cultural relationships between Indigenous communities
    and communities no longer considered indigenous to place in order to support more
    meaningful, life-giving social and ecological relationships for all people. In order to further
    describe AIR's objectives and its aspirations, the article draws on the Alliance's inaugural
    event, the Elders’ Voices Summit, four days of Indigenous-led sustainability education with
    more than 100 international participants, representing community, university, government,
    philanthropy and not-for-profit sectors. We conclude by casting our hopes forward to
    envisage future re-indigenization work that supports the connection and reconnection of
    human beings with the Earth and the places of the Earth to which we belong
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Sustainability Education
    Volume16
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2018

    Keywords

    • decolonization, re-indigenization, community resilience, Anthropocene

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Political Science and International Relations
    • Education
    • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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