Just Transition Summit Inspires Europe by CARLOS MATías
The Alaska Indigenous Peoples Just Transition Summit has had an intercontinental echo. Days after its celebration, Europe has experienced a conference on Just Transition. The search for just and equitable change towards a Regenerative Economy aligned with the Earth is spreading across the planet.
Shortly before the Summit of the Americas, in early June, the Just Transition Summit was held in Alaska to promote “a just and equitable shift to an Indigenized Regenerative Economy –an economy that is aligned with what the Earth can regenerate and that ensures equity, dignity and justice for all.
“This Summit has also inspired Europe. Last June 9, in Tullamore, Ireland, the Civil Society Organizations Group of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), in partnership with Irish Rural Link, organized a conference on the topic.
Sol de Medianoche interviewed representatives of the Alaskan Summit: Gunnar Keizer, Brandon Hill and Samarys Seguinot Medina.
What has been the main contribution of the Just Transition Summit this year? Diversity and inclusion in terms of participation, dialogue across regions, ages, knowledge, and experiences. There was an energy of unity and hope that Just Transition is more than possible; it is happening, and we have the power to keep moving towards an indigenous regenerative economy.
The meeting took place shortly before the Summit of the Americas. Did it raise awareness of the need for a sustainable world? The Summit was vital in continuing to strengthen ties with community leaders, elders, activists, and youth from across Alaska. We received guidance from Native elders and leaders in the environmental justice movement to continue to make changes toward a regenerative economy and restore balance, move away from dependence on fossil fuels, and embrace traditional practices to care for ourselves and the Earth.
Do you think states are going to be respectful of planet Earth? Every day we are moving forward at many levels, local, national, and international. In Alaska, the JT movement is growing. More and more policy makers and leaders are aware and committed to promoting sustainable change. We still have a lot of work to do. But change is inevitable. Collaboration, participation, and environmental justice will prevail. Alaska Native peoples represent the future of this state, will they make their voices heard by the economic, political, and industrial powers? In the words of respected elder and former community health aide, Annie Alowa of Savoonga, Sivuqaq: “I will fight until I melt.” Alaska’s indigenous and native peoples are the past, present, and future stewards of the land. They have been living, caring, and learning from their natural world for millennia. Honoring and respecting all life forms. Following their traditional ecological knowledge and wisdom. The traditional way of Alaska Native peoples will be central to the Just Transition movement for a regenerative, indigenous economy away from fossil fuels, colonization, patriarchy, and unsustainable governance.
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