Kohtr’elneyh means “We Remember” in the language of the lower Tanana Dene peoples, the Benhti Kanaga’ language.
And yet, we are not going backward in time, we must move forward, informed by Indigenous knowledge, to shape our current communities and strive for greater balance. By acknowledging the original stewards of these lands, Alaska Native peoples, we also uplift a knowledge system that has deep history and relationship to the lands we currently all call home. The foundation of this summit strives to not only create a “new” path forward but also to remember a knowledge system that has lived in harmony on these lands for thousands of years. For us a Just Transition means uplifting Indigenous place-based knowledge systems while we shape regenerative economies, steward lands and waters, and build more just and equitable communities for all.
Alaska is experiencing an unparalleled moment of systemic political, economic, and ecological crisis –one that requires us as Alaskans to rethink how we balance our current and future needs. The economic system that has sustained Alaska for over 40 years is unraveling. Since the 1970s, an oil-based economy has dictated the speed and sectors of business growth. Over this time our state government has implemented a tax structure that furthers dependence on one main revenue stream — oil revenues. Over the past few years we have experienced the harm caused by our state’s economic dependency.
What is Just Transition?
Just Transition is a framework for a fair shift to an economy that is ecologically sustainable, equitable and just for all Alaskans. After centuries of global plunder, the profit-driven, growth-dependent, industrial economy is severely
undermining the life support systems of the planet. The current economy based on extracting from a finite system faster than the capacity of the system to regenerate will eventually come to an end—either through collapse or through
our intentional re-organization.
>>Read more from the Climate Justice Alliance<<
Transition is inevitable, justice is not.
Widely discussed, Just Transition strategies were first forged by labor unions and environmental justice groups who saw the need to phase out the industries that were harming workers, community health, and the planet; while also providing just pathways for workers into new livelihoods. This original concept of Just Transition was rooted in building alliances between workers in polluting industries and fence-line and frontline communities.
The Alaska Just Transition Summit hopes to inspire collaborations and to build collective strategizes that both address challenges and build pathways out of a declining oil economy.
Alaska is lagging behind in the global movement to re-orient economies away from declining extractive oil, gas, and mining development, we must engage more communities and elected leaders in the discussion and action of shifting toward a more equitable and ecologically rooted economy and culture. This summit will convene individuals, leadership, and organizational stakeholders who share a vision for a more just and equitable future.
We invite leadership from Tribal governments, unions, grassroots community work, young people, artists, faith groups, financial investors, local and state government, educators, small business owners, and workers from key sectors who are willing to convene and work towards a Just Transition benefiting of all Alaskans into the future. We are looking to hosting presentations, workshops, and displays from throughout our state.