Native Americans and Climate Change

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Samantha Merry
Ant 190 Midterm
February 26, 2013
Question #1.

Native Americans depend greatly on the environment and their ecological knowledge, as the environment around them continues to warm it causes life threatening changes for Native peoples. For starters, their food sources are dwindling as a result of melting arctic sea ice, causing species like seal and caribou to continue to deplete. The sea ice melting takes lives every year in Native American reservations around Alaska because they’re resorting to taking greater and greater risks when it comes to hunting and fishing on thin ice. Permafrost melting has caused heavy erosion on riverbanks, in some places losing hundreds of feet at a time during minor storms. This erosion is claiming homes along the river bedside forcing Natives to relocate. Relocation efforts have had a huge impact on the Native elders and children because of their lack in physical ability to walk hundreds of miles. Not only does this affect the less physically fit but it impacts the whole tribe costing them thousands of dollars in moving and construction which takes years to plan and build. Climate change impacts continue to threaten the traditional way of life of indigenous people, because of unfair impact distribution the IPCC has made progress in defending them in their struggle to live and adapt without taking away their Indigenous rights to live off the land. Much of the erosion is caused by human activities, which will be a main focus in restoring riverbanks. Fishing, recreation and pollution are a huge cause of the offset river balance and acidity as well as added nutrience and minerals, restoring the human induced damage will hopefully return the ecosystems back to their natural beauty. Unfortunately there are many nations around the world, which will be unfairly impacted from climate change due to their lack of adaptive capacity. A societies ability to adapt varies greatly within North America. Native Americans for...
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