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Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2020, 43:35–40


A distinct formulation of Indigenous environmental justice (IEJ) is required in order to address the challenges of the ecological crisis as well the various forms of violence and injustices experienced specifically by Indigenous peoples. A distinct IEJ formulation must ground its foundations in Indigenous philosophies, ontologies, and epistemologies in order to reflect Indigenous conceptions of what constitutes justice. This approach calls into question the legitimacy and applicability of global and nationstate political and legal mechanisms, as these same states and international governing bodies continue to fail Indigenous peoples around the world. Not only do current global, national and local systems of governance and law fail Indigenous peoples, they fail all life. Indigenous peoples over the decades have presented a distinct diagnosis of the planetary ecological crisis evidenced in the observations shared as part of Indigenous environmental declarations.


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