The Isle de Jean Charles band of the Biloxi-Chitimacha Indians have become the first climate change refugees. They have received $48 million dollars to help them move off their disappearing island located in southern Louisiana. Residents of this area have been seeing there land disappearing due to the extreme weather brought about by climate changes. http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/2/15/1485411/-Isle-de-Jean-Charles-Band-of-Biloxi-Chitimacha-Indians-become-the-first-official-Climate-Refugees?detail=email
These dire circumstances have been made much worse for the coastal communities of Louisiana by the dredging of the hundreds of thousands of wetlands by the oil companies. The oil companies will not be paying out the money to relocate the tribe even though it is their actions which have led to the flooding these communities face. Wetlands help protect against flooding. http://www.mbgnet.net/fresh/wetlands/why.htm
The money will be used to help the tribe relocate as a single entity, thereby retaining their status as an Indian tribe. This is important, since if they do not remain together, the U.S. Government will take away their status as an Indian Tribe. They are worried about retaining their culture and identity, as many other tribes have been lost to us for this very reason. In the mid 1800’s the tribal lands were 1,062 acres of land, but not the reservation is only 283 acres.
What do you think of Climate change? What advice would you give to these peoples who wish to retain their cultural identity, while also needing to find a new place to live? Leave your comments below.