Waking from Paralysis: Revitalizing Conceptions of Climate Knowledge and Justice for More Effective Climate Action

Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya*, Margaret G. O’connell, Edith Leoso, Marvin Shingwe Biness Neme Defoe, Alexandra Anderson, Megan Bang, Pete Beckman, Anne Marie Boyer, Jennifer Dunn, Jonathan Gilbert, Josiah Hester, Daniel E. Horton, Dylan Bizhikiins Jennings, Philomena Kebec, Nancy C. Loeb, Patricia Loew, William M. Miller, Katie Moffitt, Aaron I. Packman, Michael Waasegiizhig PriceBeth Redbird, Jennie Rogers, Rajesh Sankaran, James Schwoch, Pamala Silas, Weston Twardowski, Nyree Zerega

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Despite decades of climate science research, existing climate actions have had limited impacts on mitigating climate change. Efforts to reduce emissions, for example, have yet to spur sufficient action to reduce the most severe effects of climate change. We draw from our experiences as Ojibwe knowledge holders and community members, scientists, and scholars to demonstrate how the lack of recognition of traditional knowledges (TK) within climate science constrains effective climate action and exacerbates climate injustice. Often unrecognized in science and policy arenas, TK generates insights into how justice-driven climate action, rooted in relational interdependencies between humans and older-than-human relatives, can provide new avenues for effectively addressing climate change. We conclude by arguing for a shift toward meaningful and respectful inclusion of plural knowledge systems in climate governance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-182
Number of pages17
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Indigenous Peoples
  • climate change
  • climate governance
  • climate justice
  • science
  • traditional ecological knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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