Climate Justice in the Arctic: Indigenous Perspectives

Winter 2022
Evening and Weekend
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 13
8 12 Credits per quarter
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In this online program, we learn about climate itself, particularly how climate functions as a global circulatory system affecting and connecting everyone everywhere, including the Arctic. To better understand Indigenous perspectives on climate change in the Arctic, where temperatures are rising at twice the rate of the global average, we center the perspectives of Indigenous People, particularly the Sámi, who live in the northernmost parts of Europe and have endured colonization, oppression, violence, and erasure for millennia. To gain a deeper understanding of the Sámi, guests share aspects of Sámi worldview and ways of life. They also share experiences of climate change, along with impacts of ‘clean’ solutions they call ‘green colonialism.’ These solutions are destroying Sámi traditional lands such as reindeer herding areas and threatening Sámi culture including language. We are also introduced to other Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic, including the Yupik, Nenets, and Inuit, and we discover diverse approaches to climate justice through art, activism, film, media, research, writing, rights-based political and legal action, and international collaboration. This program is predicated on the view that Indigenous leadership must hold a powerful role in addressing climate change and that, without climate justice, there can be no true solution.

How do we carry out our learning? We read and write; learn from lectures, films, guests, and special events; maintain a creative nature journal that invites deeper reflection and observation; engage in seminar; carry out research; develop activism projects; and share final presentations.

To successfully participate in this on-line program, students need a computer with reliable internet access for class sessions on Zoom and program engagement on Canvas. While synchronous (live) class sessions will take place on Wednesday evenings and alternate Saturdays, sessions will be recorded for students who must occasionally miss class. Please discuss your specific situation with faculty.

Students may request to enroll for an additional 4-credits of independent study by submitting a plan for an average of 10 additional hours per week of work focused on a relevant question, theme or project. Students who participated in ‘Climate Change and Colonization in the Arctic: Who are the Sámi?’ in winter 2021 can also request to do more advanced work within the basic 8-credit enrollment and/or request to enroll for 12 credits. Contact faculty with your idea and plan.


Winter 2022 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Fr - Sr (12): 20142
Fr - Sr (8): 20143

Academic details

Preparatory for studies and careers in

environmental justice; climate justice; Indigenous human rights; activism; education; sustainability; natural history; international law; intercultural relations

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$45 for virtual event entrance fees and virtual conference registration


Time Offered
Evening and Weekend
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting