Through an ecology of relations approach based on ethnographical inquiries, the aim of this panel is to compare different case studies in order to analyse how indigenous societies living in extreme environments greatly affected by climate change modify or perpetuate their relations with non-humans.
Climate change, as an object of study, challenges numerous Western conceptual dichotomies, in particular the one that opposes Nature to Culture. It has indeed become impossible to qualify such phenomenon in dualistic terms, as many factors overlap and add further complexity. Climate change is not only challenging the Western world, but also the so-called "non-modern" societies that tend to conceive relations between nature and culture in terms of continuity rather than rupture. In fact, within indigenous cosmologies, non-human entities share the same status as humans. However, for many of these societies living in extreme environments such as the arctic and subarctic regions or high mountain ranges, climate change is disrupting the system of relations to such an extent that established beliefs and values are shaking. In order to deal with these relational and ecological transformations, these societies are forced to rethink their relations with non-human entities - divinities, ancestors, plants, animals and atmospheric phenomena. Through an ecology of relations approach based on ethnographical inquiries, the aim of this panel is to compare different case studies in order to analyse how indigenous societies confronted with climate change in extreme environments modify, restore and/or perpetuate their relations with non-human entities.