Research Proposal

Climate change is the “biggest global health threat of the 21st century;” a perspective supported by the US NIH, two Lancet Commissions, and the Canadian, American, Australian, and British Medical Associations. One of the most acknowledged climate change threats is related to impacts on food systems, security, and safety.

Climate change impacts on health will be unequal, with Indigenous populations particularly vulnerable due to existing social gradients in health, and close relationships with the environment for livelihoods and well-being. For Indigenous populations, however, our understanding of the health dimensions of climate change is limited. When Indigenous health issues are captured in research, information about climate-society interactions embedded in myths, stories, tradition, and observations are typically marginalized. Thus, Indigenous peoples are often portrayed as powerless victims, overlooking how social, cultural, and economic conditions determine how climate change is experienced, de-emphasizing the potential for adaptability and resilience.

The Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change Project responded to this knowledge deficit by investigating climate-sensitive health outcomes in various Indigenous communities, identifying overarching opportunities for adaptation, and engaging with knowledge users to identify which health outcomes to prioritize in research, programming, and planning. The Climate Change IFS3 program will build on this work by enhancing local capacity for Indigenous communities to detect and respond to health outcomes related to climate change impacts on Indigenous food systems, security, and safety, and characterize Indigenous adaptation pathways that enhance or constrain resiliency in the Arctic, Uganda, and Peru.

Learn more about the proposal!