Twenty six years ago, at the headwaters of the Missouri River, Micah “Big Wind” Carpenter-Lott was born in Great Falls, Montana to an Aaniiih/Nakota/Ojibwe Father and Northern Arapaho Mother. Soon after, they moved back to the Wind River Reservation, where Big Wind was raised in Arapahoe, Wyoming for the majority of their life. At a young age, Big Wind recognized many injustices and degrees of oppression within their community.
They became involved in civic engagement and youth leadership at the age of 13 when the local county was found guilty of diluting Indigenous vote. Since then, they have worked on numerous campaigns throughout “Indian Country” and Turtle Island. They served as a Co-Chairpersxn of the Wind River Chapter of United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) in 2010-2011 and the Rocky Mountain Regional Rep in 2011-2012. After getting involved with UNITY, they assisted in local environmental grassroots campaigns such as RezAction and Reservation Restoration, then consulted with Equality State Policy Center as a Native Vote Coordinator, and for several non profits in the Rocky Mountain region including the Wind River Native Advocacy Center. In August of 2016, they headed out to the Standing Rock Reservation to help family, friends and historical allies in a several month long multi-faceted direct action campaign against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
After the #NoDAPL campaign, they traveled to other Water Protector encampments throughout Turtle Island and spread the message against the fossil fuel companies who are largely responsible for the rapid destruction of the natural environment and the current climate emergency. In 2017, they helped create an Indigenous-led youth contingent in Massachusetts against Kinder Morgan, when Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline desecrated Paleo-Indigenous stonescapes to build a gas pipeline through Otis State Forest. In 2018, Big Wind was selected to go on a speakers tour with the Sunrise Movement to talk to thousands of young people about climate change. After being acquitted of charges related to the #NoDAPL campaign, they ventured to the Great Lakes to help with the Indigenous led #StopLine3 campaign.
In 2019, Big Wind and a group of local Indigenous activists planned the very 1st Climate Summit in Wyoming on the Wind River Reservation. Big Wind has dedicated their life to fighting racial, systemic, and environmental injustice. They feel it is imperative that Indigenous voices are represented, consulted, and involved in Climate Action Plans (CAP). Stressing the importance of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and correlating it to western climate science as an equal reliable source.
“I am thrilled to be apart of SustainUs 1st Indigenous Youth Delegation to the COP25 because for far too long our voices have been muted; many have become accustomed to accepting western climate science while often excluding Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) which fails to recognize we need blended knowledge, collaborative solutions, and structural changes to mitigate and adapt to the current climate crisis.”