Climate in Crisis: Environmental Change in the Indigenous Americas

Climate change is having a severe impact on Indigenous communities across the Americas, but the situation has an even longer history rooted in the legacies of European colonialism. With more than sixty works spanning 2,800 years and cultures across North, Central, and South America, this installation draws upon the strength of our Arts of the Americas collection to highlight the complex worldviews of Indigenous peoples and explore how their beliefs, practices, and ways of living have been impacted by the ongoing threat of environmental destruction.

The works in Climate in Crisis: Environmental Change in the Indigenous Americas connect to the environment in one of two ways: many objects reveal Indigenous understandings of the natural world, while others more directly address the threat climate change poses to Indigenous livelihoods and survival. From the northern Arctic to the southern Amazon, Climate in Crisis follows the effects of glacial melt, droughts, wildfires, overexploitation of resources, displacement, and extreme violence, as well as the work being done by Indigenous communities and activists to counter the climate crisis and protect the planet.