Inuit activist to discuss global climate change and human rights
Posted: April 12, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Sheila Watt-Cloutier, a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize nominee and advocate for global climate change and sustainability, will give the talk, "Everything is Connected — Environment Economy, Foreign Policy, Sustainability, Human Rights and Leadership in the 21st Century," Thursday, April 26, at 8 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.
The talk, which is free and open to the public, is part of the University's continuing Dombeck Lecture Series, sponsored by the Department of International Relations.
Watt-Cloutier also will participate in a question-and-answer session Friday, April 27, at 4 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre of the Elaine Langone Center.
A member of the Inuit community and a Distinguished Advocate for Global Climate Change and Sustainability, Watt-Cloutier is based in Nunavut, Canada's newest Territory. She was nominated in 2007 for the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy work in showing the impact of global climate change on human rights - especially in the Arctic.
"By viewing the Arctic as the planet's health barometer, Watt-Cloutier makes a human connection by telling the human stories to help a generation see the issue in a newly urgent way," said Hilbourne Watson, professor of international relations and chair of the international relations department at Bucknell.
"Her advocacy work - not just environmental but all-encompassing - is grounded in human rights, in our shared humanity. She has been working with global decision makers for over a decade, offering a new model for 21st century leadership." he said.
Watt-Cloutier insists that the environment, the economy, foreign policy, global health, and sustainability form a deeply interconnected whole, and stresses that every decision, whether environmental, political or economic, has a profound effect on those far from the corridors of power.
An Officer of the Order of Canada, she is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Aboriginal Achievement Award, the UN Champion of the Earth Award, and the prestigious Norwegian Sophie Prize.
From 1995 - 2002, she was elected the Canadian president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) where she became a hugely influential voice in the successful negotiations of the Stockholm Convention, the landmark treaty banning Persistent Organic Pollutants: POPs end up in the Arctic and have been an alarming health issue for Inuit.
From 2002-06 she served as the international chair of the ICC, representing the 155,000 Inuit from Canada, Greenland, Alaska and Russia. Under her leadership, she and 62 fellow Inuit from Canada and Alaska launched the world's first international legal action on climate change, with a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She is the main signatory to the petition.
Contact: Division of Communications
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