It’s happening this week at the annual conference of the National Congress of American Indian – the same week President Joe Biden declared the first-ever presidential proclamation of Indigenous Peoples Day.
“The place where our ancestors signed our treaties is now underwater,” said Fawn Sharp, president of the National Congress of American Indian. Sharp, who often appears in a cedar hat as a tribute to his ancestors on the Quinault Indian Nation reservation, says his community is working to relocate two of their ancestral villages to heights due to increasing cases of ‘flood.
“Climate change is real,” she says.
Later this month, she plans to travel to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Sharp says the tribe has lived on the Washington coast for thousands of years, but lately climate change is forcing its members to climb. The problem is so serious that Home Secretary Deb Haaland visited the Indian nation of Taholah, Washington and Quinault in August and met with the leaders of a dozen tribes.
The group visited the village of Tahaloh, which is threatened by storm surges, floods and tsunamis. During her visit, the secretary discussed the urgent need to act to address the climate-related impacts that are displacing many coastal communities, especially tribal and indigenous communities in areas already heavily influenced by climate change, especially forest fires and drought.
Secretary Haaland highlighted how the bipartite infrastructure agreement – a central pillar of the Build Back Better program – includes proposed investments in transition assistance and resettlement to support community-led transitions for tribal communities. the most vulnerable.
The bipartite infrastructure agreement includes an investment of $ 466 million for the Office of Indian Affairs, including transition and resettlement assistance to support community-led transitions. Investments include:
$ 216 million for tribal climate resilience, adaptation and planning, design and implementation of projects that address the different climate challenges facing tribal communities across the country.
$ 250 million for construction, repair, improvement and maintenance of irrigation and power systems, dam safety, water sanitation and other facilities.