Module 1: Indegenous Environmental Network

http://www.ienearth.org/

The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) is a website that aims  to “protect the environmental, cultural, social, and human rights of Indigenous Peoples”.  The website is American, but is inclusive to all indigenous groups in North America, and could readily be used by other indigenous groups through out the world.  The site high lights key environmental issues in North America and provides users with scientific, cultural, spiritual and historical information on the area.  They also organize campaigns in order to prevent environmental problems or rectify wrongs of the past.

The current focus of the IEN seems to be the Alberta Oil Sands.  Several articles look at the different issues surrounding the problem and some articles discuss with the local First Nations populations are doing in attempts to rectify the situation.  Interestingly, they also document the work they have done in conjunction with similar organizations (not indigenous ones, but environmental ones) in Norway, Demark, Russia, Finland and The US to convince state governments to impose an international moratorium on offshore drilling for oil in the Arctic.  I wasn’t able to see what success they have had convincing these governments to leave the last untouched source of desperately needed fossil fuels, but with such international solidarity between the interest groups, one can hope that governments will listen.

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