Juneau, AK (June 2, 2017) – As stewards of the land, air and sea, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s (Tlingit & Haida) Executive Council has issued a call to action to support the Paris Climate Change Accord. As indigenous peoples, we have a responsibility to protect traditional homelands which are inherently connected to our cultural languages and identities.
“Alaska tribal governments are living with the early but significant effects of climate change,” said President Richard Peterson. “Our traditional knowledge learned over millennia within our aboriginal lands leaves us with no doubt that immediate action to reduce the impacts of climate change is our duty as sovereign indigenous governments. As such, we will seek to participate in the Paris Agreement.”
Alaska has 229 federally recognized tribes with invaluable Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), which provides for historical measurements of ongoing climate change since time immemorial. TEK reinforces already acknowledged scientific data that the rest of the World has recognized and is taking action with the Paris Accord, with the exemption of Syria and Nicaragua.
“Native Alaskan communities already live with the effects of climate change, and will bear the worst if adequate measures are not taken by governments,” said Second Vice President Will Micklin. “Tlingit & Haida continues its work to place indigenous governments and their traditional knowledge at the table with world governments.”
Tlingit & Haida stands in solidarity with Tribal Nations, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), and the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) and remains committed to representing and advancing Indigenous peoples’ interests in the United States and abroad.