According to recent research, indigenous peoples make up fewer than 5% of the global population, but they manage or hold land tenure over 25% of the planet’s land surface and sustain roughly 80% of global biodiversity. Last Monday, I boarded a flight from Cape Town to Bloemfontein, then drove for about three hours to EarthRise Mountain Lodge near Ficksburg.
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The study, “Participatory Modeling of Water Vulnerability in Remote Alaskan Households Using Causal Loop Diagrams” was published in the journal Environmental Management. “High income countries affected with water insecurity is a reality,” co-author Antonia Sohns, a PhD Candidate at Canada’s McGill University in Montreal, said in a phone interview. “Water scarcity and access is an under-told story in the North and it hasn’t been discussed enough in my opinion.”
At any moment, on any school day, the entire future of the Quileute Tribe is at risk. The Quileute tribal school is within a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean, which has been a source of life for the Quileute people since the beginning of time. The Quileutes regularly harvest fish and shellfish off the coast of northwest Washington, and their ancestors hunted whales and traveled in oceangoing canoes from Alaska to California for trade.
Tribal communities are directly affected by the impacts of climate change, and many are deeply involved in addressing this global crisis. We speak with indigenous representatives about the challenges presented by a changing climate, and what is being done to ensure the health and well-being of Native American people and lands.
The climate crisis is having adverse effects on many communities; however, Native and Indigenous people are feeling these effects even more due to centuries of settler colonialism and racial capitalism that have added to the interconnected nature of the climate crisis and are threatening Indigenous ways of life.
Deb Haaland, a member of New Mexico’s Laguna Pueblo, has become the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. history.
With a million species at risk of extinction, dozens of countries are pushing to protect at least 30 percent of the planet’s land and water by 2030. Their goal is to hammer out a global agreement at negotiations to be held in China later this year, designed to keep intact natural areas like old growth forests and wetlands that nurture biodiversity, store carbon and filter water.
On a hot summer’s day, marine ecologist Courtney Greiner walks the shore of a rocky Washington beach at low tide with a handful of staff and interns. They stake out the ground and hunch down, digging up the top two inches of mud, silt, and gravel looking for baby clams.
Climate change directly threatens human health, with substantial impacts on Indigenous peoples, who are uniquely vulnerable as climate-related events affect their practices, lifeways, self-determination, and physical and cultural health. At the same time, Indigenous communities are leading the way in innovative health-related climate change adaptation work, using traditional knowledges and novel approaches. In 2016 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Indian Health Board created the Climate-Ready Tribes Initiative to support these efforts.
This year, Thanksgiving is fraught for many reasons, chief among them the ongoing and escalating crisis of the coronavirus pandemic. Many families have canceled or limited travel and festivities, and some are only gathering virtually.