Climate changes cause changes indeed. Due to recent events regarding rising temperatures and sea levels, a village in Alaska decided to relocate. People fear waters will soon invade their homes, and that global warming will affect their lives more than initially thought.
The people in the village voted on Tuesday for leaving or staying on their homelands. The community is made up of the population of a tribe (Inupiat tribe), counting 650 members. Out of 650, 89 voted in favor of moving, and the rest of them voted against. So the translation from their island to the mainland is a fact, and will happen soon.
People are sad not only for leaving their homes behind but also for leaving their lands, a symbol of their culture and tradition. On the other hand, they understand that this is the last resort and that nature doesn’t allow them to live there anymore.
Reports from the Alaska village show that, in the past twenty years, the island the Inupiat tribe lives in lost 100 feet of land. Authorities predict that the island will actually disappear completely in the next twenty years.
The Inupiat tribe wants to move as soon as possible, but members of the community also fear it is a process that will take them a long time. The main reason is the lack of money. Donna Barr, the council’s secretary, told CNN:
“About 15 years ago, they estimated the cost at $180 million, but I would figure it’s much higher now.”
19-years old Esau Sinnok, an Inupiat native, wrote an essay on his people’s situation and how climate change affects their lives. He confessed he had to move and change his home for 13 times. Here is an excerpt from his essay, according to Business Insider:
“It really hurts knowing that your only home is going to be gone, and you won’t hunt, fish and carry on traditions the way that your people have done for centuries. It is more than a loss of place, it is a loss of identity.”
The situation of the Inupiat tribe is very delicate, as they don’t have to say goodbye only to their material belongings, but also to a lifestyle and a cultural legacy. However, they are aware they can’t fight nature, and this is precisely why they made the decision in the first place.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia