Indigenous people fair ocean future

12. Indigenous Peoples

A fair ocean future for earth's first people


Coastal Indigenous and Traditional communities are starting to see changes to their lives from climate change, whether this is from species range changes or displacement from land changes. For many of these communities, the ability to adequately adapt to these changes is limited by the governance structures they are required to live within, which differ from their customary practices and culture. In November 2019, a group of Indigenous and Traditional Peoples, attended the Future Seas 2030 workshop and discussed the consequences of climate change, the biggest barriers for their communities, and barriers for using traditional knowledge in order to contribute towards a more sustainable future that in the end will benefit all of earth’s people. The aim of this workshop was to highlight and give a voice to the various backgrounds and real-life situations impacting on some of the world’s Indigenous and Traditional communities whose connection with the oceans and coasts have been disrupted. This paper presents these issues of oppression, colonisation, language and agency, making it difficult for these groups to contribute to the current management of oceans and coasts, and asks scientists and practitioners in this space to be allies and enable the needed shift to earth’s guardians taking a leading role in nurturing her for our future. Art credit: Dean Greeno


Lead Investigators

Mibu Fischer

CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere / CMS



Tero Mustonen

Snowchange Cooperative, Finland.


Meet our fellow team members who contribute to the success of this project.

Kimberley Maxwell

University of Waikato, New Zealand
Dean Greeno

Dean Greeno

Riawunna Centre for Aboriginal Education / CMS, Australia
Russ Jones

Chief Nang Jingwas (Russ Jones)

Hereditary Chief, Haida Nation, Canada
Suteji Hugu

Suteji Hugu

Regional Coordinator for East Asia, ICCA Consortium
Per Ole Frederiksen

Nuunoq (Per Ole Frederiksen)

The Pisuna Project, Attu, Greenland
Kaisu Mustonen

Kaisu Mustonen

Snow Change Cooperative, Finland
Jamie Graham-Blair

Jamie Graham-Blair

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Australia
Halfdan Pedersen

Halfdan Pedersen

Pikkoritta Consult, Aasiaat, Greenland
Eero Murtomäki

Eero Murtomäki

Snowchange Cooperative, Finland Hunter, Photographer.

future seas

FUTURE SEAS is a unique collaboration , spear-headed by the Centre for Marine Socioecology, of over 100 researchers from the University of Tasmania (UTAS), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and other institutions
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