In this talk, Sheila Watt-Cloutier urges us to recognize the intimate connection between the suffering of Aboriginal peoples and the degradation of the global climate. Trauma at the human level and trauma on the planetary level are one and the same. Both the consequences of the historical suppression of Aboriginal cultures and the trauma we now inflict on our planet as a result of misguided human interventions are normal reactions to abnormal circumstances.
Sheila Watt-Cloutier is a leading voice in the global discussion on environmental sustainability and cultural preservation. For decades she has defended Inuit human rights against the impact of climate change in the Arctic. Sheila has also served as an elected political spokesperson, focusing on economic development and training in remote Northern communities.
Sheila is widely recognized for her influential work. She has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize (2007), is the recipient of the Order of Canada (2006), as her outstanding contribution commemorated in a Canadian Stamp (2012).
Sheila sums up her life’s work: “I do nothing more than remind the world that the Arctic is not a barren land devoid of life, but a rich and majestic land that has supported our resilient culture for millennia. Even though small in number and living far from the corridors of power, it appears that the wisdom of the land strikes a universal chord on a planet where many are searching for sustainability.”
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx