Their Past, Our Futures: Climate Change, Climate Migration and Indigenous Resilience in the World Languages Classroom

Matt Kelly, Spanish, Independence High School

Curriculum Unit (PDF)


The dystopian futures we envision most, consume most and fear the most are the very real past and present experiences of colonized peoples. The tropes we see in dystopian and apocalyptic film and media reflect the actual experiences of colonized Indigenous peoples: invasion, disease, environmental collapse and subjugation. In this unit, we will look at climate change and environmental degradation in Latin America, especially with regard to impact on Indigenous populations. As we do so, we will take care to reference students’ prior exposure, through popular media, to core concepts related to climate change, environmental degradation, and the experiences of Indigenous people.