Indigenous people the world over are generally the least responsible for, and most harmed by the impact of climate change, including across what is now the United States. Along the Yukon River, Alaska Natives are desperately hunting moose and caribou to make up for a precipitous drop in salmon stocks. “Nobody has fish in their freezer right now. Nobody. … We have to fill that void quickly before winter gets here.” Giovanna Stevens, 38, a member of the Stevens Village tribe, told the AP. “When you dig into all the available data for Yukon River salmon,” Kate Howard, a fisheries scientist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, told the AP, “it’s hard to explain it all unless you consider climate change.”
In what is now the Southwestern U.S., Hopi ranchers are struggling to feed their communities as water allocation decisions exacerbate a climate-fueled megadrought. “This is where the cows come to die,” Mr. Honani, manager of the Hopi Office of Range Management, told the New York Times. “Cut out the pools. Cut out the water recreation areas. Cut out the golf courses, and you’ll start resolving some of the issues the state of Arizona is looking at right now,” said Clark Tenakhongva, vice chairman of the Hopi Tribe in northeast Arizona.
In what is now southeastern Louisiana, the Houma Tribe, who do not live on a traditional reservation and are still fighting for federal recognition, were hammered by Hurricane Ida but are struggling to get the assistance — lacking across the board — they need to rebuild. “We would normally be totally self-sufficient,” Houma tribal administrator Lanor Curole told NPR. “However, our normal volunteers and the folks within our community … those are the folks that are homeless right now or, you know, having to clean out homes, trying to figure out how to secure their homes.” (Alaska Natives: AP; Hopi: New York Times $; Houma: NPR; Insufficient Ida assistance: AP; Climate Signals background: Drought, 2021 Atlantic hurricane season)