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the memory of seeds and indigenous resurgence in tharaka, kenya

“In the global North, it has become more common to declare that indigenous peoples hold the solutions to the climate crisis. Such rhetoric risks being only lip-service if solutions don’t recognise and resource indigenous-led work to repair damage to indigenous cultures, commit to indigenous resurgence and integrate the wisdom of indigenous values.  After decades of shame, suppression and devaluation, much indigenous knowledge held by groups like the Tharaka has been forgotten, hidden or impaired. Tharaka women commented that it seemed like “everything was going to disappear”. Facing this eco-cultural crisis, remembering and restoring indigenous women’s knowledge and practices, grounded in a paradigm of respect and collaboration with the Earth, emerged as a pathway to resilience.”

As part of the inaugural Climate and Environmental Justice Media Fellowship run by FRIDA, the Young Feminist Fund and Open Global RIghts, I am investigating the intersections of gender justice and climate and environmental justice. For my first article, I travelled to Tharaka, in the central part of Kenya to speak with women who are remembering and reinstating their eco-cultural practices thus regaining their value and roles in community, restoring the Earth, and rebuilding resilience through indigenous African wisdom and practices.

Read the full article on Open Global Rights here. Also available in Spanish and Portuguese.

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