Abstract

Improving the physical environment and Indigenous participation in environmental decision-making is inherently related to the improvement of health among Indigenous Peoples. Improving the state of the physical environment necessitates increased involvement by Indigenous communities in decision-making and policy development. This involvement must integrate local traditional knowledge (TK) as an important tool in the decolonization of environmental decision-making, and a necessary step towards the improvement of Indigenous health. With a focus on the physical environment as a social determinant of Indigenous health, this article highlights the need for increased Indigenous participation in the decision-making process on environmental issues and proposes a framework to accomplish this outcome. Indigenous-centred policy frameworks should include the following five key principles: (a) the recognition of Indigenous knowledge, (b) the recognition of the inherent right to self-determination, (c) the use of an inclusive and integrative knowledge system, (d) the use of community-based participatory approaches, and (e) the use of circular and holistic viewpoints.

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to the University of Guelph and the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) for financial support.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


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