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CULTIVATING HOPE: SITUATING PLACE-BASED EDUCATION, HEALTH SOVEREIGNTY, AND CLIMATE RESILIENCY IN SPITI VALLEY, INDIA

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Abstract

The children of Spiti Valley in remote, high-altitude Himalayas face unprecedented challenges as their socio-cultural fabric unravels from the impacts of climate change and industrialization. As they receive a modern education in boarding schools, the tradeoffs may manifest as health insecurity and erasure of indigenous ways of knowing. A Participatory Action Research project was implemented in collaboration with Munsel Ling Home School in Rangrik. We organized place-based learning trips led by Spiti’s amchis, who are indigenous medicinal practitioners and knowledge-holders, to situate biocultural diversity. This Thesis concluded that (a) climate change is exacerbating agricultural challenges, health insecurity, and gendered burdens, (b) strong human ecological relations are directly related to the attainment of health sovereignty, and (c) revitalizing indigenous knowledge systems in educational institutions depends on relationships between Spiti’s communities of enquirers and its communities of practice, who must work collaboratively in order to envision possible futures and develop a dynamic plan to address uncertainties, i.e. build anticipatory capacity, in the context of climate change (Kassam et al., 2018).

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130 pages

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2023-08

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Keywords

biocultural diversity; climate resilience; health sovereignty; indigenous ecological knowledge; participatory action research; place based education

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Kassam, Karim-Aly

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Lassoie, James
Willford, Andrew

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Natural Resources

Degree Name

M.S., Natural Resources

Degree Level

Master of Science

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Government Document

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Attribution 4.0 International

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dissertation or thesis

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