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Articles by Joseph Lee

Joseph Lee is an Aquinnah Wampanoag writer and lives in New York City.

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World leaders at last year’s international climate change conference COP26 pledged $1.7 billion to support Indigenous people’s efforts to protect their rights and land. Led by the United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, and more than a dozen philanthropic organizations, the financing is intended to support projects like mapping traditional territories, implementing conflict resolution mechanisms, and bolstering collective governance structures. The announcement was hailed as a historic commitment that could help the world’s governments stick to the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F).

But Indigenous leaders were skeptical. 

“We cannot receive this news with enthusiasm because we were not consulted in the design of this pledge,” said the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities, an international Indigenous coalition, in a statement. “We suspect that many of these funds will be distributed through existing climate finance mechanisms, which have demonstrated great limitations in reaching our territories and supporting our initiatives.”

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