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Climate Justice

Working towards climate justice for all Native peoples.

Native Womxn’s Climate Justice Mentorship

Colonization, land dispossession, and forced migration has left Native people more vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis.

For example, a 2021 study found that Native people face greater wildfire and drought risk than they would if they were still living on their historical lands. The Fifth National Climate Assessment released in November 2023 observed that “historical abuses of Indigenous rights have significant responsibility for the heightened severity of climate disruption.” Despite all this, Indigenous worldviews confer important strengths and resilience. Native communities have a deep attunement to and intimate knowledge of the natural cycles of plants, animals, and weather. As a result, Native communities are better able to respond and adapt to climate change, and to develop powerful climate justice leaders rooted in a holistic, long-term vision.

The Indigenous worldview is inherently strategic. Instead of short-term thinking, Indigenous cultures hold a vision that spans Seven Generations.

This long-term perspective means that forging an intergenerational leadership approach is essential.

R2HF is creating the Native Womxn Climate Justice Mentorship Program in response to this need. Launching in 2024, this new program will develop leadership skills among a cohort of young climate justice warriors aged 18-27, guided by previous generations of Native Womxn who have already walked this path.

Approach & Activities

During the first year of operation, the program will support 6-8 participants from Native communities from different regions.

The mentorship will pair young Native womxn ages 18-27 with seasoned leaders from R2HF’s Fellows and Traditional Healers and Helpers who will serve as mentors, helping them strengthen their voices in places and spaces where they have not been heard. Mentors will support participating youth to create service projects, climate innovations, and cultural narratives that are connected to community perspectives and priorities. In addition, youth mentees will come together and engage in a Native Youth Climate Justice community of practice to learn from and support each other, building peer accountability within a broader cross-tribal space.

Key program activities include:

  Youth-led climate justice service and narrative projects.

•  Monthly Mentorship calls to share guidance, opportunities, encouragement, and strategies.

•  Create a network and coalition of Native Youth engaged in climate justice to support and learn from one another.

•  Increase understanding of the urgent socio-political issues that Indigenous Womxn and People face today, particularly as they relate to climate justice.

•  Create a platform for visibility and create awareness around climate justice issues where Native Youth are generating solutions.

•  Connect and engage with other youth-oriented climate justice organizations particularly in advance of COP 29.

•  Provide financial support through stipends to participants.

•  Evaluation component to document the scope of Native Young Womxn’s voice on a national level.

Support the Native Womxn Climate Justice Mentorship Program.

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