Journal Article

Framing Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples: Intermediaries of Urgency, Spirituality and De-nationalization


Anna Roosvall, Matthew Tegelberg


This article examines representations of indigenous peoples in Swedish and Canadian press coverage of the Copenhagen climate summit (COP15). It discusses tensions between the international character of UN summits and the often transnational character of indigenous peoples as well as the issue of climate change. It considers how conceptions of nature, culture and politics intersect in the coverage, and in what roles indigenous peoples appear. Building on theories concerning the representation of indigenous peoples, traditional environmental knowledge (TEK) and identity politics, the study combines content and framing analysis with discourse analysis of a small sample of articles about indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples are underrepresented in the coverage. When indigenous voices emerge they appear as victim-heroes and important intermediaries of urgency and spirituality. They also appear as intermediaries of de-nationalization, but they are misframed politically, recognized in terms of their culture rather than represented in terms of their status.

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  • Type:
    Journal Article (peer reviewed)
  • Journal:
    International Communication Gazette, Vol 75, Issue 4.
  • Pages:
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About the Author

Anna Roosvall

Anna Roosvall got her PhD at the department for Journalism, Media and Communication, at Stockholm University in 2005. Her doctoral dissertation was about Swedish foreign news and aspects of nationality, ethnicity and gender. She was a post-doc res... Read more


Roosvall, A. and Tegelberg, M. (2013). Framing Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples: Intermediaries of Urgency, Spirituality and De-nationalization. International Communication Gazette, 75(4), pp. 392-409. Available at: [Accessed 12 Aug. 2022]. doi: 10.1177/1748048513482265.