Margaret Redsteer publishes "Accounts from Tribal Elders: Increasing Vulnerability of the Navajo People to Drought and Climate Change in the Southwestern United States"

Margaret Redsteer

IAS faculty member Margaret Redsteer published an article co-authored with Klara B. Kelley, Harris Francis and Debra Block, “Accounts from Tribal Elders: Increasing Vulnerability of the Navajo People to Drought and Climate Change in the Southwestern United States.”  The article appears in a new UNESCO-Cambridge book Indigenous Knowledge for Climate Change Assessment and Adaptation.  It argues that while there is growing respect and appreciation within the academic scientific community for indigenous knowledge and its ability to provide complementary sets of observations, especially related to climate change, the historical context is missing from most of the discussion around climate impacts. Without this context it is difficult to examine the roots of the vulnerability of indigenous people, or enable communities to address them fully. This work compiles meteorological records, archival data, and our own field studies, as well as Native American elder’s lifetime observations on the changes in weather, landscape conditions, land use and water availability. These multiple lines of evidence are used to further refine our understanding of climate change and how it has affected the livelihoods of elders as the climate has warmed over the latter half of the 20th century.