Climate change is projected to disproportionately affect populations that are already marginalized and more vulnerable. Often, these same groups have, historically, had limited or no say in the regulation or management of activities which harm the environment directly or which contribute to climate change. Indigenous Peoples are a prime example. While global stages such as COP26 have committed to the inclusion of Indigenous peoples in the fight against climate change, demonstrations following the recent convening reveal disappointment in the lack of meaningful representation and inclusion. 

Within this broader context, the Blum Center aims to describe and compare the central climate mitigation and adaptation narratives used by the Academy, civil society, and Indigenous groups. Through this work, we hope to characterize an urgent political challenge – can these perspectives be coordinated into a single or several compatible responses to climate change?


Indigenous Peoples and California’s Climate Response

This phase of the project seeks to surface the narratives employed around Indigenous peoples and climate change, broadly, within California, and to determine the extent to which Indigenous communities and knowledge systems have been included in California’s climate action planning and research. This analysis systematically draws from peer-reviewed literature, State reports, and literature produced by Indigenous communities. California provides a valuable case study, with elements of international relations, as it borders Mexico; and a multi-level government context composed of a web of municipalities, counties, state, and federal entities, that can provide an analog for similar inter- and intranational government relations globally. This characteristic of California allows this project to comment on the efficiency of multiple actors and on automy when addressing the globally relevant crisis of climate change.