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Forced Relocation Left Native Americans More Exposed to Climate Threats, Data Show [nytimes.com]

 

By Christopher Flavelle, The New York Times, October 28, 2021

Centuries of land loss and forced relocation have left Native Americans significantly more exposed to the effects of climate change, new data show, adding to the debate over how to address climate change and racial inequity in the United States.

The findings, which took seven years to compile and were published Thursday in the journal Science, mark the first time that researchers have been able to quantify on a large scale what Native Americans have long believed to be true: That European settlers, and later the United States government, pushed Indigenous peoples onto marginal lands.

“Historic land dispossession is a huge factor contributing to extreme climate change vulnerability for tribes,” said Kyle Whyte, one of the study’s authors, who is a University of Michigan professor and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

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