Melissa Watkinson-Schutten publishes “Decolonizing Climate Adaptation by Reacquiring Fractionated Tribal Lands”

decolonizing climate adaptation

IAS alum Melissa Watkinson-Schutten (B.A. in Global Studies and Society, Ethics & Human Behavior; minor in Human Rights; M.A in Policy Studies) has published the article article, “Decolonizing Climate Adaptation by Reacquiring Fractionated Tribal Lands,” in the prestigious Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Sociology, based on research she began while in IAS.

From the artcile’s abstract:

Coastal tribes are experiencing loss ofland due to the cumulative effects of climate change. However, decolonizati Q the form of reacquiring tribal lands can be used as a tool for adapting to climate change impacts. Guided by an Indigenous worldview and in partnership with a coastal tribe in Washington State, spatial analyses and interviews were conducted to determine the effectiveness ofreacquiring fractionated land, such as through the Land Buy-Back (LBB) program, on tribes’ ability to adapt to climate impacts. Reacquiring and consolidating fractionated land through the LBB program can increase the adaptive capacity for tribes impacted by climate change. Additional programs and funding for land and consolidation should be made available to tribes as a tool for climate adaptation.

Watkinson-Schutten is currently Equity and Environmental Justice Manager at Puget Sound Partnership.