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PAGE 189 IV. POSSIBLE PATHS and wildlife are necessary supplements to the diet of Northwest tribes and essential to the practice of their tribal cultures. The Critical Importance of Community When we contemplate the urgent need to plan for climate change impacts, an important advantage that Indigenous peoples have in contrast to the non-Indigenous population is that we still have community! Our tribal communities are comprised of extended families who care for each other, who keep track of each other, and who insist that the collective family, the tribe, do everything possible to take care of the tribal community. Our colleague from the Maori nation points out that the foundation of Maori community is the marae. As we understand it, a marae may be thought of as a building and is comparable to Native American communities that are organized around a longhouse. But the marae is not simply a building or a structure that serves as a meeting place for those families that belong to a particular marae. It is also a sacred space that serves as the center of community ceremonial life. We were informed that the members of a marae, historically a tribe or subtribe, assume a responsibility for community members who experience family losses or tragedy, as well as to extending hospitality to ensure that guests of the marae are fed and housed. In this respect, Maori custom is typical of that of Indigenous people worldwide, who place great value on maintaining community as the focal point for cultural and social values and practices. As we contemplate the potentially disastrous consequences of climate change upon our communities, it seems clear that we must look to the structures and institutions of community as the means to prepare for and deal with these consequences. As one contemplates acceleration of climate change in the next five to ten years, our tribal communities must adapt to these changing conditions at a pace that will stress their social, economic, and cultural fabrics. But, we cannot afford to join our fellow Americans in massive denial. ἀ e time to plan and adapt is now. Recommendations 1. Gather information on the impacts of climate change in your region and make it available to your tribal community. As tribal people who have survived against all odds in the past, we will survive the changes associated with global warming—if we prepare. We cannot even begin to prepare if we are uninformed or unaware of the facts as they pertain to our own regions and localities. Moreover, RECOMMENDATIONS TO NATIVE GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP Alan Parker Director of the Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute ; faculty in the Master of Public Administration program , ἀ e Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington Recommendations for Indigenous leadership regarding Climate Change Impacts and Tribal Communities This section of the anthology is addressed primarily to the leadership of U.S. tribal nations and to First Nations, Maori, and other Pacific Rim Indigenous nation leaders. Through our research and consultations with tribal officials , we have determined that climate change impacts Indigenous peoples in distinctive ways that demand distinctive responses. Climate change brought about by human activity has already resulted in irreversible global warming. It is impacting Native peoples in the Arctic and Subarctic by permanently disrupting their lifestyles centered on subsistence hunting and fishing. Over many thousands of years the Inuit, the Iñupiat, and the Yup’ik have lived in Arctic climates by adapting to frigid weather conditions and seasonal changes, based on long winter nights and long summer days. In a matter of a few short years these conditions have been disastrously altered. Global warming changes are much more intense in the Arctic than they are elsewhere. Whereas globally we have seen average mean temperature increases of 1 percent , Arctic peoples have experienced an increase of up to 8 percent. In many areas the permafrost has melted and ice packs have retreated at a rate that is beyond the adaptation abilities of wildlife and ocean life. For Indigenous people who live on the land and the water, climate change is already a disaster. In the temperate zones where the great majority of Pacific Rim tribal peoples live, evidence of disastrous climate change has already been documented, although it has escaped the attention of the U.S. public (which depends on commercial media for information). In the Pacific Northwest, glacier-fed rivers and streams have permanently warmed because of the decline in winter snowpack and the retreat of high mountain glaciers. Global warming means that...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780870716645
Related ISBN
9780870716638
MARC Record
OCLC
830023897
Launched on MUSE
2012-12-20
Language
English
Open Access
No
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