"We have a shot at being self-determining or we can be the victims. This is a time of tumultuous change, economic downturns, accelerating climate destabilization and the depletion of oil supplies, meaning loss of access to cheap petroleum. If we don’t act, we will be caught in a very difficult place as indigenous peoples.
We need to make decisions about the future of our communities and what that future will look like. Will we continue to rely on the outside industrial economy for our food, energy and other basic needs or will we look to create our own local economies as a way to determine our own destiny?
The Native Peoples Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop is an opportunity to have a meaningful discussion about our future. Tribal peoples and scientists from across the United States will gather at the workshop at Mystic Lake Casino and Hotel from Nov. 18 – 21. Sponsored by the NASA Tribal College and University Project, American Indian Higher Education Consortium, and a number of tribal colleges and tribal organizations, the workshop will bring the next generation of leadership – Native students – into the effort of mitigating climate change and building adaptation strategies.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt in our communities. The tribal village of Kivalina has taken action to sue 14 oil and coal companies because it is literally falling into the ocean. Extended droughts and volatile weather are causing more havoc in our communities, and economists around the world are predicting that up to 20 percent of world gross domestic product (i.e. money) will be used to address climate change related disasters by 2020. The U.S. economy (and in particular, the urban infrastructure, if Katrina and New Orleans are an example) will find itself under more severe stress in the climate challenged times ahead."
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Winona LaDuke: A shot at true self-determination
(Indian Country Today 11/4)