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Ep. 219: Recovering Indian Land to Rightful Ownership & Decarbonizing Our Global Economy
Today's guest is Cris Stainbrook, President of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF).
ILTF is a national community-based organization serving Indian nations and Indian people in the recovery and control of their rightful homelands. They work to promote education, increase cultural awareness, create economic opportunity, and reform the legal and administrative systems that prevent Indian people from owning and controlling reservation lands. The organization has provided over $98 million of grants, loans and services over the past 20 years.
We cover a lot in this episode, including some of the history of Indian land, how ILTF got started, some of the organization’s early tactics and how those tactics have evolved. We also talk about climate change, how Indian nations and Indian people think about risks, and which aspects they're most concerned about. We even dig into carbon markets, offsets and credits, as well as additionality and some of the ways ILTF is facilitating these solutions. It's a fascinating discussion and we hope you take the time to listen because if we all understand these perspectives better, it can help us chart not only a path of least resistance to decarbonizing our global economy, but also embracing justice and equality along the way.
In today’s episode, we cover:
An overview of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF)
How the organization came to be and its mission to restore rightful land ownership of 90 million acres
Cris' personal climate journey
His background in fisheries biology and transition to Indian land
The role of the federal government in Indian land ownership
The Dawes General Allotment Act
ILTF's tactics at the beginning and how they've changed over time
Importance of education for Indian history and land issues
The organization's theory of change and how they measure progress
Changes on tribal land related to climate
How climate impacts day-to-day life of tribal members
How the tribes became interested in carbon markets and some of the issues they're working to overcome
The Indian Land Capital Company, a CDFI subsidiary of ILTF
Buyer incentives for the tribe's carbon credits
The National Indian Carbon Coalition and its assessment of additionality credits, setting prices, finding buyers, etc.
What Cris sees as the biggest barriers to moving forward on climate change
His thoughts on government's role in solving certain issues
Cris' message to listeners both in terms of the problem of climate change and Indian lands
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