Feds provide $75 million to help 3 Native tribes move from rising seas

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School children affected by climate change walk near severely eroded permafrost tundra next to their school in the Yupik Eskimo village of Nabakyak in the Yukon Delta, Alaska, on April 18, 2019.

Mark Ralston | AFP | Good pictures

The Department of the Interior under the Biden administration provides Three Native American tribes $75 million The decision comes after tribes across the country competed for the first federal grant designed to relocate communities facing climate change threats to relocate from coastal areas at risk of extinction.

The Village of Newtok and the Native Village of Nabakiak in Alaska and the Quinault Indian Nation in Washington state will each receive $25 million to begin relocating buildings inland and away from rising seas. The administration is awarding $5 million in grants to eight other tribes.

Historically oppressed and disenfranchised tribal groups across the United States More exposed to the effects of climate change. Research Published in the journal Science It found that tribal nations have lost 99% of their historic territory, and the land they leave behind is generally more vulnerable to climate-related disasters such as heat waves, wildfires and droughts.

The federal government has now begun relocating entire indigenous communities to adapt to climate change and reduce damage from future climate-related disasters. Bureau of Indian Affairs Review from 2020 Estimated up to 5 billion dollars As the climate changes, tribal relocation infrastructure will be needed over the next 50 years to address their needs.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Holland delivers opening remarks at the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit at the Department of the Interior on November 30, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Pete Marovich | Good pictures

“We must protect Indian Country from the serious and unique impacts of climate change,” said Interior Secretary Deb Holland said in a statement. “Helping these communities safely return home is one of the most important climate-related investments we can make in India.”

The administration announced the awards during this year’s White House Indigenous Nations Summit. Earlier this year, the Bureau of Indian Affairs held a competition in which tribes applied for up to $3 million in relocation funds.

Tribes in Alaska are particularly at risk of infrastructure damage from encroaching waters, coastal erosion and extreme weather events, Interior said.

Smaller planning grants from the administration were awarded to tribes including the Native Village of Point Lay in Alaska, the Yurok Tribe in California, and the Chitimacha Tribe in Louisiana.

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