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Native American Tribe Receives $48m to Flee Climate Change

The tiny Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe has called the coastal marshlands of southern Louisiana home ever since their ancestors settled there to avoid forced relocation under the Indian Removal Act of 1830. But the close-knit community of Isle de Jean Charles has grown increasingly fragmented as their island slowly disappears beneath their feet and powerful storms ravage their homes and crops.

A potent combination of accelerating sea level rise, salt water intrusion and subsidence of the land has caused devastating erosion and flooding, exacerbated further by regional oil and gas development and the shipping industry. Today, less than a quarter of the original inhabitants still live on the island, which has lost 98% of its landmass since the 1950s. Most inhabitants resettled in nearby parishes, but even the few miles distance have diminished cultural knowledge long nurtured by the relative isolation of island life.

Alan English

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