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Scholars Day: April 11, 2012

Indigenous Peoples on the Road to Rio +20

On June 20-22, 2012 the United Nations is hosting the Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, also known as Rio +20. The conference will result in a focused political document that nations will sign onto and promise to uphold. This document is being drafted around the official thematic focuses of sustainable development in context of the green economy and poverty alleviation, and the institutional framework for sustainable development. Indigenous peoples represent one of the nine major groups designated to represent civil society at the conference. Indigenous peoples' views regarding the environment are drastically different than those of most cultures represented at the state level. Indigenous peoples are defined by their relationship with their environment, which is often deeply spiritual, and inherently sustainable. While this conference seeks an open discussion over the future of the global environment with input from all levels and sectors of society, this discussion occurs within institutions of power. These institutions undoubtedly limit the degree to which Indigenous Peoples are able to contribute to the formulation of this document and the articulation of their needs. When indigenous peoples interact within these institutions, they do so under prescribed conditions, and communicate within non-native, dominant knowledge/language frameworks. Using key political documents released by both groups this paper performs a discursive analysis of each groups views on sustainable development while considering the ramifications of the differentiated institutional positions of each group.

Please note that presentation times are approximate. If you are interested in attending sessions with multiple presentations, please be in the room at the start of the session.
Presenter: Shane Jakubec (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Anthropology
Location: 102 Edwards
Time: 9 am Session I