“Most Indigenous Peoples today live oppressed existences as minority groups within states. Climate change for them layers another potentially crushing pressure on top of many others”
by Stephen Leahy
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Humanity’s hot carbon breath is not just melting the planet’s polar regions, it is disrupting natural systems and livelihoods around the world, indigenous people reported this week at a global meeting on climate change in Anchorage, Alaska.
“We indigenous people are the prow of the ship of humanity in the oncoming waves of climate change,” said Vanessa Marsh of the small Pacific island of Niue.
Indigenous people are here to alert humanity and lead the way in healing Earth, Marsh, a youth delegate, told more than 400 representatives of world’s indigenous peoples here.
Coastal erosion, mud slides, longer droughts and more severe hurricanes are just some of the impacts of climate change affecting the Caribbean region, Chief Charles Williams of the Kalinago people on the island of Dominica told the U.N.-affiliated Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change.
“Most indigenous people live on the margins…their ‘purses’ are not as strong as others when it comes to coping with climate change,” Williams said.