The total numberof Indigenous people in the United States is between 2.5 and 6 million, of which 20% live on Tribal lands or in Alaska Native villages. There are 574 federally recognized Tribes, but this number does not account for the total number of Indigenous groups in the US.1Historically the US government has made systematic efforts to disrupt Indigenous communities, and there are many Indigenous communities with deep history that remain unrecognized by the US government.
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As emissions of heat-trapping bases accumulate in our atmosphere, Earth’s polar regions are warming more quickly than at lower latitudes. The rapid environmental changes that result from this warming can have a significant impact on the physical and mental health of rural Alaskans: unpredictable weather and changes in the seasons have made harvesting food more difficult, hazardous, and stressful.
Climate-forced population displacement is among the greatest human rights issues of our time, presenting unprecedented challenges to communities and the governments responsible for protecting them. Sea level rise, heat, drought, and wildfires will cause people to move, losing homes and places they love, often with no ability to return. Indigenous Peoples have done the least to cause this crisis and face the loss of lands and connections to ancestral, cultural, and spiritual heritage.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that Indigenous peoples of North America are disproportionately vulnerable to climate change. The most vulnerable industries, settlements, and societies are generally those in coastal and river flood plains; those whose economies are closely linked with climate-sensitive resources; and those in areas prone to extreme weather events. Nearly all tribes fit into one of those categories, and most Alaska Native communities fit into all three.
Understanding the threats that climate change poses to human health can help us work together to lower risks and be prepared. Climate change threatens human health, including mental health, and access to clean air, safe drinking water, nutritious food, and shelter.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or inciden
Native Americans are one of the most vulnerable populations to climate change in the United States because of their reliance upon the natural environment for food, livelihood, and cultural traditions. In the Southwest, where the temperature and precipitation changes from climate change are expected to be particularly severe, tribal communities may be especially vulnerable. Through this project,…
Established in 1990 within the United States, IEN was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ). IEN’s activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.IEN accomplishes this by maintaining an informational clearinghouse, organizing campaigns, direct actions and public awareness, building the capacity of community and tribes to address EJ issues, development of initiatives to impact policy, and building alliances among Indigenous communities, tribes, inter-tribal and Indigenous organizations, people-of-color/ethnic organizations, faith-based and women groups, youth, labor, environmental organizations and others.