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The responses listed in this category involve people taking social action. In some instances, it is community members organizing themselves for relocation or indigenous organizations communicating their concerns to other organizations or governments.

Climate Change Issues


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Scientists and Native communitites in Northeast Alaska and Northwest Canada that live within the region of the Porcupine caribou herd, had concerns about climate change, in addition to regional development and contaminants. Communities and researchers in this region formed an alliance, the Arctic Borderlands Ecological Knowledge Co-op, to develop an ecological monitoring program to record changes in the environment.
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Kofinas, G., Aklavik, Arctic Village, Old Crow and Fort McPherson, 2002. Community contributions to ecological monitoring: knowledge co-production in the US-Canada Arctic borderlands. Pages 54-91 in Krupnik and Jolly The Earth is Faster Now, ARCUS, Fairbanks
Indigenous peoples from around the world gathered to discuss concerns about changing climate and its impacts on cultures, human and environmental health, human rights, well-being, traditional livelihoods, food systems and food sovereignty, local infrastructure, economic viability, and the very survival of Indigenous Peoples. This summit resulted in the formation of the Anchorage Declaration in April 2009. Targeted towards United Nations, developed nations, and Inter-governemental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). website
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Indigenous Peoples' Global Summit on Climate Change: Leading the Way. (24 April 2009). Anchorage, AK.
Arctic researchers, government representatives, and residents of the Arctic recognized the need for a well-coordinated and sustained Arctic Observing Network that meets scientific and societal needs. The Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) was formed to make recommendations on how to create long-term Arctic-wide observing activities that provide free, open, and timely access to high-quality data that will realize pan-Arctic and global value-added services and provide societal benefits. website
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Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON)
The Inuit Circumpolar Council recognized violations of human rights resulting from climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions from the United States of America. Canadian and Alaskan Inuit presented a case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 2005. PDF
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Inuit Circumpolar Council
In southwest Baffin Island, Canada, research revealed local concerns about climate change. Local place names were documented to learn how place names can inform people of changing environments.
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Henshaw, A. (2006). Pausing along the journey: Learning landscapes, environmental change, and toponymy amongst the Sikusilarmiut. Arctic Anthropology 43(1): 52-66 (2006).
In Newtok, Alaska, community members are concerned about erosion, rising water levels and thawing of permafrost that is causing the land to sink, which are greatly impacting the village. The people of Newtok took steps to relocate their village on higher, more stable ground. website
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D'Oro, R. (May 15, 2010). Slowly, Newtok prepares to escape erosion. Anchorage Daily News: Anchorage, Alaska.
Erosion of coastline, melting permafrost, increased wave action from lack of sea ice is deteriorating Shishmaref, AK. The people of Shishmaref have taken steps to relocate their village. website
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Shishmaref Erosion and Relocation Coalition. (2006). Relocation and Erosion Concerns: Shishmaref, AK. In Arctic Alaska, the Warming Climate Threatens an Ancient Culture. AAAS.
Coastal erosion is impacting the village of Kivalina, AK. Kivalina has taken steps to relocate the village.
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City of Kivalina website.
Coastal erosion is impacting the village of Shaktoolik, AK. Identified responses include the creation of an emergency evacuation route during storms and the placement of a breakwater or other method for controlling erosion. website
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Kawerak Incorporated. (2006). Shaktoolik Local Economic Development Plan 2006-2011. Kizzia, T. (2008). State begins planning to rescue villages from the sea. Anchorage Daily News.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough wanted to address climate change-related concerns for the borough that is based in Fairbanks, AK. A task force addressed Fairbanks North Star Borough's climate changed-related vulnerabilities in a report. website
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Fairbanks North Star Borough. (2010) Interior Issues Council Climate Change Task Force: Preliminary Vulnerability Assessment Report.
Residents of the village of Huslia, Alaska were concerned about climate change affecting subsistence resources. Village residents worked closely with land managers to communicate cultural needs and that hunting and fishing regulations are appropriate.
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Huntington, O. Traditional/local Knowledge and Community Sustainability at Huslia on the Koyukuk. Alaska Native Science Commission.