“We must now speak environment, economy, foreign policy, health, and human rights in the same breath,” says Sheila Watt-Cloutier.
In this globe-spanning talk, Watt-Cloutier provides a clear, meaningful, and comprehensive understanding of the way environment, economy, foreign policy, health, and human rights issues are interconnected and what it all means for our planet’s future. With a focus on solutions, Watt-Cloutier brings the realities of the Arctic—where the Inuit people today face profound challenges to their environment, their economy, their health, and their cultural well-being—to light. The challenges they face are clearly connected to the industries we support, the disposable world we have become, and the nonsustaining policies we create. Because her Inuit culture faces the most extreme challenges of globalization, Watt-Cloutier speaks from firsthand experience and couples that with her extensive experiences as a global leader. Drawing upon her ancient culture and speaking from a position of strength, not victimhood, she helps audiences find common ground. Her Arctic voice—not as far away as we might imagine—enlightens and inspires.
Sheila Watt-Cloutier is the author of the memoir, The Right to Be Cold: One Woman’s Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet (Allen Lane, 2015). The book was nominated for the 2016 BC National Award for Canadian Nonfiction and the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. In 2017, the book was shortlisted for CBC Canada Reads, defended by Chantal Kreviazuk. Watt-Cloutier was also shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize.