Marshallese poet, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner addresses the UN Climate Summit

Marshallese poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner addressed the United Nations Climate Summit yesterday!
She tells the assembly a story about a canoe race. A mother with a heavy bundle begs each of her 10 sons for a ride in their canoe. None of them want to take her because, they say “you will slow us down”.  Only her youngest accepts not knowing that the heavy bundle is the first sail! With the new sail he is able to speed ahead and claim victory.
Kathy calls for the developed world to support those most impacted by climate change. She asks the world leaders to take the millions of indigenous people along on their ride. “We won’t slow you down… we will help you win the most important race: the race to save humanity.”
It’s true, indigenous people on the forefront of climate change carry a heavy bundle full of important tools and lessons for the world. Traditional management is one of those important tools. Together, we can teach people how to sustainably manage their resources! Thank you, Kathy!
Check out her moving statement and poem!
Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters