New Study Documents Disproportionate Impact of Climate Change on Indian Tribes

Written by: Wenona Singel

Primary Source : Turtle Talk, August 5, 2011.

From the National Wildlife Federation (link here).

Here’s an excerpt:

In collaboration with the Tribal Lands Program, Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, National Congress of American Indians, Native American Fish & Wildlife Society, National Tribal Environmental Council, Native American Rights Fund, and University of Colorado Law School, the National Wildlife Federation released Indian Tribes, Climate-Induced Weather Extremes, and the Future for Indian Country. The report details how climate change is adversely and disproportionately affecting Indian Tribes in North America, people who rely on a healthy environment to sustain their economic, cultural and spiritual lives.

“The Indian Nations face profound challenges to their cultures, economies and livelihoods, because of climate change,” said Jose Aguto, policy advisor on Climate Change for the National Congress of American Indians. “Yet tribal peoples possess valuable knowledge and practices of their ecosystems that are resilient and cost-effective methods to address climate change impacts, for the benefit of all peoples. This study is a clear call for the Administration, Congress, state and local governments, and all peoples, to support and join tribal efforts to stem climate change.”

Here’s the report:


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Wenona Singel
Wenona T. Singel is an Associate Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law and the Associate Director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center. She teaches courses in the fields of federal Indian law and natural resources law, and her research and publications address the development of tribal legal systems and tribal accountability for human rights. In addition to teaching, Ms. Singel’s professional activities include serving as the Chief Appellate Justice for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and former service as the Chief Appellate Judge for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. From 2006 – 2009, she served as President and Board Member of the Michigan Indian Judicial Association. On March 29, 2012, the United States Senate passed by unanimous consent President Barack Obama's nomination of her to serve as a member of the Advisory Board of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. Ms. Singel is also an elected member of the American Law Institute, where she is the Co-Reporter for the project to develop a Restatement of the Law of American Indians.