Lecture: "The Right To Be Cold" by Ms. Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Former Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Conference


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Special Guest Lecture co-sponsored by East-West Center and William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii

When: Aug 20 2014 - 12:00pm until Aug 20 2014 - 1:00pm
Where: John A. Burns Hall, Room 4005, East-West Center

Sheila Watt-Cloutier’s talk will move beyond the science and politics of climate change and bring a holistic understanding of the significance of the Arctic’s environment and Inuit culture.  Much is heard about the melting ice and challenged wildlife, however it is the potent human story about communities and their journey through rapid social, cultural and environmental change that will help lead us towards better understanding of long term sustainability.  Her pioneering global work on connecting Climate Change and Human Rights reinforces the fact that everything is connected and we indeed share humanity. Islands, including Hawaii are, along with the Arctic, among the places and the peoples most challenged by climate change.  Ms. Watt-Cloutier’s talk will provide the opportunity to learn more of the Arctic experience.

 Former Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC), Canadian human rights activist, Sheila Watt-Cloutier tackles the many issues indigenous peoples are facing today, including environmental pollution and sustainable development. Her efforts were recognized when she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Currently living in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Ms. Watt-Cloutier was born in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (northern Quebec) and was raised traditionally in her early years before attending school in southern Canada.

 Ms. Watt-Cloutier has an academic background in counseling, education and human development. Her early experience as an Inuktitut interpreter for the Ungava Hospital in Nunavik led to a lifetime commitment to improving health conditions and education for indigenous communities. Her uniting efforts on the global scene were instrumental in the signing, ratification and enforcement of the Stockholm Convention in 2004, a global commitment to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants. Ms. Watt-Cloutier is the recipient of many honors and awards including: the Inaugural Global Environment Award from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations in recognition for her work on persistent organic pollutants; the Aboriginal Achievement Award for the Environment; the United Nations Champion of the Earth Award and the Sophie Prize in Norway.  She has been awarded numerous honorary degrees and recently, she was awarded the inaugural Northern Medal by the Governor General of Canada and the International Environmental Leadership Award by Global Green, USA.  She is an officer of the Order of Canada.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Laura Moriyama
Phone: 808-944-7444