The determinants of planetary health: an Indigenous consensus perspective (2022 Aug)

Summary: Indigenous Peoples have resiliently weathered continued assaults on their sovereignty and rights throughout colonialism and its continuing effects. Indigenous Peoples’ sovereignty has been strained by the increasing effects of global environmental change within their territories, including climate change and pollution, and by threats and impositions against their land and water rights. This continuing strain against sovereignty has prompted a call to action to conceptualise the determinants of planetary health from a perspective that embodied Indigenous-specific methods of knowledge gathering from around the globe. A group of Indigenous scholars, practitioners, land and water defenders, respected Elders, and knowledge-holders came together to define the determinants of planetary health from an Indigenous perspective. Three overarching levels of interconnected determinants, in addition to ten individual-level determinants, were identified as being integral to the health and sustainability of the planet, Mother Earth.

Process: The Indigenous consensus process was undertaken in three phases from January 6 to April 15, 2021, using a perspective that considers Indigenous “research as ceremony”. For these methods to be consistent with an Indigenous research methodology, it was essential to begin from the collective group rather than using consensus method processes (eg, nominal group processes) that start from a place of independent synthesis.

 The determinants of planetary health identified by the consensus process

  • Mother Earth-level determinants
    • Respect of the feminine
    • Ancestral legal personhood designation
  • Interconnecting determinants
    • Human interconnectedness within Nature
    • Self and community relationships
    • The modern scientific paradigm
    • Governance and law
  • Indigenous Peoples’ level determinants
    • Indigenous land tenure rights
    • Indigenous languages
    • Indigenous Peoples’ health
    • Indigenous Elders and children

The determinants of planetary health: an Indigenous consensus perspective
Redvers, Nicole et al.
The Lancet Planetary Health, Volume 6, Issue 2, e156 – e163

Correspondence to: Department of Indigenous Health, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA

  1. Department of Indigenous Health, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, USA (N Redvers ND, L Mad Plume MPH);
  2. Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation, Yellowknife, NT, Canada (N Redvers, B Blondin);
  3. Pull Together Now, Lincoln, MT, USA (Y Celidwen PhD; J N Rojas);
  4. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bond University, Robina, QLD, Australia (C Schultz PhD);
  5. Department of Family Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada (O Horn MD);
  6. Department of Family Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada (O Horn);
  7. ABS Capacity Development Initiative, Eschborn, Germany (C Githaiga MA);
  8. School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA (M Vera RN);
  9. Sydney Law School, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia (M Perdrisat BComm);
  10. Ogiek Peoples’ Development Program, Egerton, Kenya (D Kobei MBA);
  11. El Fondo para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas de América Latina y El Caribe, La Paz, Bolivia (M C Kain MD);
  12. Nulungu Resea rch Institute, University of Notre Dame Australia, Broome, WA, Australia (A Poelina PhD);
  13. Pipil Indigenous Council of Firekeepers and Healers, Santa Tecla, El Salvador (J N Rojas)

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