Blog: Native Americans hurt most by changes in environment

"Native American tribes comprise a small percentage of the American population, but their lands can be found across the country in very different areas. Because of this spread, and native people’s dependence on the land, they are getting hit by every aspect of climate change much harder than the general population. One tribe in coastal Louisiana is experiencing rising sea levels encroaching on their islands, which soon will wash over burial grounds. At the same time, populations in Alaska are trying to adapt to faster glacial melt and changes to fishing areas.

Some tribes have had to relocate because of the impacts of climate change, whether to be closer to animals for food supply or find higher ground to escape flooding and storms. But moving an entire village is no easy task, and not every tribe can relocate due to reservation boundaries, a connection to the land, or lack of resources. Those tribes that cannot move will face more intense storms, wildfires, droughts and other weather events, causing significant damage that cannot be fully repaired due to lack of infrastructure. The high unemployment and poverty rates on reservations also make it difficult to finance any necessary repairs."

Get the Story:
Native Americans Hurt Most by Climate Change (Revmodo.com 7/27)

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Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on environment change (7/16)
PBS: Quileute Tribe confronts threats from environmental change (7/16)
Inaugural First Stewards conference held at NMAI in DC this week (7/16)

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