Laurier professor’s latest book applies Indigenous values to climate change and energy issues
Brantford The latest work by Wilfrid Laurier University Professor Timothy B. Leduc adopts a storytelling format to explore the topic of climate change through a dialogue between the Haudenosaunee Good Mind tradition and Western interdisciplinary research. The book, A Canadian Climate of Mind: Passages from Fur to Energy and Beyond (McGill-Queen’s University Press), will launch Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. in room CB 100 of the Carnegie Building (73 George St.) at Laurier’s Brantford campus.
Throughout his academic career, Leduc who bridges social work and environmental studies has explored Indigenous understandings of the relation between connectedness with land and human health. The opening and closing chapters of A Canadian Climate of Mind are set in Toronto, with each chapter in between taking place in a different location within the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River corridor.
The book is based on research Leduc conducted from 2011 to 2015, with much of the work being grounded in public dialogues he had with Mohawk teacher William Woodworth Raweno:kwas, who was taught by Chief Jacob Thomas of Six Nations of the Grand River. The book posits that the 21st century is a period of great environmental and social transformation as climate change increasingly marks lives at levels that are personal, familial, communal, national, and global. Leduc suggests a more profound call for change by returning to past understandings of the land and climate. He argues that the world is initiating us into a broader and humbler sense of what it is to be human in an interconnected reality. The world is doing this by responding to unsustainable practices such as our devastating reliance on fossil fuels.
“This book is about looking at climate change not only as a feature of the physical world but also as a state of the human spirit,” said Leduc. “We are living in a time of change; change in terms of our relationship with the land, of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous people, in terms of reconciliation. It’s time to rethink the ‘ship and canoe’ dialogue of the Two Row Wampum Treaty and time to examine Canada’s historical relationship with natural resources.”
Leduc will provide comments at the launch event and his students will read excerpts of his book. Copies of A Canadian Climate of Mind: Passages from Fur to Energy and Beyond will be available for sale.