Alaska Natives address climate change


by Joy Mapaye


Sunday, June 10, 2007
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — At a meeting today, Alaska Native leaders presented 150 climate change resolutions.

Tribal governments and corporations across Alaska came up with the resolutions, calling on Congress to enact legislation that would cap carbon emissions.

The groups want to send the message to Congress that villages in Alaska are suffering the consequences of climate change.

Areas such as Shishmaref and Kivalina are experiencing devastating erosion and experts said the towns will have to be moved.

Heather Kendall-Miller of the Native American Rights Fund said she wants to make Congress aware of the problems Alaskans face.

“We hope to get congressional hearings set up in the coming months, so we can focus Congress’ attention on this critical issue and to the unique needs of Native American communities in Alaska — the need for money for relocation efforts, the need for legislation that caps emissions, the need for some kind of governmental entity that is responsive to these needs,” Kendall-Miller said.

The group hopes to have hearings in August.