The trip to Washington had been an amazing experience that was full of growth personally and academically.
For the preconference that led up to the conference, the 10 of us had hiked, gotten to know each other better and learned a lot about ourselves, each other and the world. There was SMART goals created, fun ice breakers and just an awareness of the space we are using.
The conference itself had different opinions and perspectives on the climate from other indigenous people, policy makers and other professions. It was interesting to hear how each person approached the scenario and how personal it hit that person whether from an indigenous group or a government official.
Within the few days of the conference, one thing that have stuck with me was the group dinner with all the indigenous participants in the conference. It was a space that allowed for safe speaking about the conference and our experience with the conference and climate change. Something that has been said that stuck with me and will for a long time. It was “My life is not an educated guess”. This stated that when scientists come into any indigenous community to do studies, they tend not to collaborate or take any indigenous knowledge and incorporate that in their reports. A lot of what was common was that researchers didn’t see knowledge as equals to science. Having that sentence said and it to be heard by other indigenous groups was just a strong and meaningful statement that is powerful and real.
This delegation has been an eye opening experience whether from meeting new people who collectively have the same notion to help the climate crisis to learning the processes for things to be set in place.