Climate Change Through an Intersectional Lens: Gendered Vulnerability and Resilience in Indigenous Communities in the United States

  • Citation: Vinyeta, Kirsten, Kyle Powys Whyte, and Kathy Lynn. “Climate Change through an Intersectional Lens: Gendered Vulnerability and Resilience in Indigenous Communities in the United States,” 2015.
    • Topics:
    • Global Development
    • Keywords:
    • climate change
    • intersectional
    • indigenous communities
    • United States
    • North America
    • gendered vulnerability

The scientific and policy literature on climate change increasingly recognizes the vulnerabilities of indigenous communities and their capacities for resilience. The role of gender in defining how indigenous peoples experience climate change in the United States is a research area that deserves more attention. Advancing climate change threatens the continuance of many indigenous cultural systems that are based on reciprocal relationships with local plants, animals, and ecosystems. These reciprocal relationships, and the responsibilities associated with them, are gendered in many indigenous communities. American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians experience colonization based on intersecting layers of oppression in which race and gender are major determinants. The coupling of climate change with settler colonialism is the source of unique vulnerabilities. At the same time, gendered knowledge and gender-based activism and initiatives may foster climate change resilience. In this literature synthesis, we cross-reference international literature on gender and climate change, literature on indigenous peoples and climate change, and literature describing gender roles in Native America, in order to build an understanding of how gendered indigeneity may influence climate change vulnerability and resilience in indigenous communities in the United States.

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