The Archipelago of Hope: Wisdom and Resilience from the Edge of Climate Change
An enlightening global journey reveals the inextricable links between Indigenous cultures and their lands—and how it can form the foundation for climate change resilience around the world.
One cannot turn on the news today without a report on an extreme weather event or the latest update on Antarctica. But while our politicians argue, the truth is that climate change is already here. Nobody knows this better than Indigenous peoples who, having developed an intimate relationship with ecosystems over generations, have observed these changes for decades. For them, climate change is not an abstract concept or policy issue, but the reality of daily life. After two decades of working with indigenous communities, Gleb Raygorodetsky shows how these communities are actually islands of biological and cultural diversity in the ever-rising sea of development and urbanization. They are an “archipelago of hope” as we enter the Anthropocene, for here lies humankind’s best chance to remember our roots and how to take care of the Earth. These communities are implementing creative solutions to meet these modern challenges. Solutions that are relevant to the rest of us. We meet the Skolt Sami of Finland, the Nenets and Altai of Russia, the Sapara of Ecuador, the Karen of Myanmar, and the Tla-o-qui-aht of Canada. Intimate portraits of these men and women, youth and elders, emerge against the backdrop of their traditional practices on land and water. Though there are brutal realties?pollution, corruption, forced assimilation—Raygorodetsky's prose resonates with the positive, the adaptive, the spiritual—and hope.
Gleb Raygorodetsky is a Research Affiliate with the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria and the Executive Director of the Indigenous Knowledge, Community Monitoring and Citizen Science Branch of the Environmental Monitoring and Science Division within the Department of Environment and Parks, Government of Alberta. Gleb has traversed the far corners of the world, from the Brazilian Amazon to remote corners of Siberia, documenting the challenges of sustaining our biological and cultural heritage. When not on assignment with National Geographic, he lives in Edmonton, Canada. All proceeds from the sale of The Archipelago of Hope will go toward “The Archipelago of Hope Indigenous Resilience Fund,” established through Land is Life (www.landislife.org), which will support the communities profiled in the book.