Archipelago of Hope by Gleb Raygorodetsky

13 November, 2017


As this fine book shows, indigenous communities and lands have been among the places hardest hit by climate change–so it should come as no surprise that around the world indigenous people have been in the absolute forefront of a fight for a liveable planet. I take real comfort from the fact that the oldest wisdom traditions on the planet and the newest are on the same page, that scientists and shamans are telling much the same story. Now it’s time for the rest of us to pay some attention Bill McKibben, author of DEEP ECONOMY

An enlightening global journey reveals the inextricable links between Indigenous cultures and their lands―and how it can form the foundation for climate change resilience around the world.

One cannot turn on the news today without a report on an extreme weather event or the latest update on Antarctica. But while our politicians argue, the truth is that climate change is already here. Nobody knows this better than Indigenous peoples who, having developed an intimate relationship with ecosystems over generations, have observed these changes for decades. For them, climate change is not an abstract concept or policy issue, but the reality of daily life.

After two decades of working with indigenous communities, Gleb Raygorodetsky shows how these communities are actually islands of biological and cultural diversity in the ever-rising sea of development and urbanization.  They are an “archipelago of hope” as we enter the Anthropocene, for here lies humankind’s best chance to remember our roots and how to take care of the Earth. These communities are implementing creative solutions to meet these modern challenges. Solutions that are relevant to the rest of us.

We meet the Skolt Sami of Finland, the Nenets and Altai of Russia, the Sapara of Ecuador, the Karen of Myanmar, and the Tla-o-qui-aht of Canada. Intimate portraits of these men and women, youth and elders, emerge against the backdrop of their traditional practices on land and water. Though there are brutal realties?pollution, corruption, forced assimilation―Raygorodetsky’s prose resonates with the positive, the adaptive, the spiritual―and hope.

24 pages of color photographs