[Blog] Advancing Global Indigenous Collaboration to Restore Balance in Human Wellbeing and the Environment

(June 1, 2023)

“Now is the time to deconstruct the systems that reinforce colonialism and perpetuate inequities.”

(Tucson, AZ) The urgency surrounding climate change and ecosystem collapse necessitates immediate and informed action. While calls for Indigenous engagement in decision-making continue, a more profound transformation is required—one that is led by Indigenous peoples themselves. Red Star International, an Indigenous-led non-profit organization, embarked on an 18-month exploration titled “Restoring Balance” to investigate the potential role of a global Indigenous collaborative in advancing Indigenous-led system transformation for the betterment of humanity and the environment. 

Here’s why it is imperative to adopt an Indigenous-led multi-sector approach globally.

Indigenous health is deeply rooted in interconnected social and ecological systems, both of which are presently disrupted by the impacts of climate change. Over the past decade, researchers have increasingly recognized the vital connection between Indigenous knowledge systems and climate change. Notably, the United Nations’ 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services highlighted the importance of inclusive governance approaches that engage Indigenous peoples and local communities to ensure equitable participation. 

However, a critical limitation persists in these recommendations—Indigenous voices are often marginalized or omitted. Understanding the integral role of Indigenous knowledge systems is imperative, as they offer valuable insights for charting a sustainable future.

Indigenous communities face similar challenges across the globe, necessitating the sharing of knowledge systems to uplift Indigenous agency and innovation.

Creating spaces for Indigenous-led knowledge exchange and collaboration is pivotal in addressing health and environmental vulnerabilities. Indigenous-led systems transformation is needed to overcome systemic barriers, restrictive policies, and differential investments that impede the collective health and environmental wellbeing of us all.

The Restoring Balance Collaborative can foster knowledge sharing, facilitate multidirectional learning, and amplify Indigenous voices globally as a transformative force.

Through collective action, Indigenous communities can dismantle systemic barriers, promote sustainability, and shape a future that embraces cultural integrity and ecological harmony.

Email us at info@redstarintl.org for more information about the Restoring Balance Collaborative.