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Authorities say they’re investigating an attack on an Indigenous community that left five dead and at least three wounded in Nicaragua.
The incident is the latest in a series of ongoing attacks on Indigenous communities in the north and east of that Central American country, as settlers, and mining and timber interests want to move into Indigenous lands.
Maria Martin reports.
This latest attack took place in the Indigenous community of Wilu in the Bosawas Nature Preserve in northern Nicaragua.
Local Native authorities report “all of the houses in the Wilu community have been burned, and families have been left without shelter, food, and clothing.”
Indigenous Forest Rangers who guard the protected area say the bloody attack was carried out by some “70 armed non-Indigenous settlers.”
The attackers are believed to be mostly former soldiers, also responsible for previous acts of violence against Mayangna and Miskito communities in Nicaragua, as they seek land for ranching, farming, mining, and the timber industry.
The government of Daniel Ortega has been criticized for not taking strong enough action on the perpetrators.
The government denies that accusation, pointing to the arrest in January of 24 settlers involved in a previous attack on a Nicaraguan Indigenous community.
The Qawalangin Tribe in Alaska’s Aleutian islands is calling on locals to help with a climate vulnerability report.
Sofia Stuart-Rasi has more.
As Unalaska Island tries to adapt to the changing climate, the Qawalangin Tribe is looking for residents with knowledge of the berry seasons, bird populations, and more.
The tribe is working on an assessment of Unalaska’s climate vulnerability.
Resilience Coordinator Shayla Shaishnikoff says participants – who’ll be called community knowledge holders – do not need formal scientific training to serve on the assessment committee.
“We are the ones who know this land, we are the ones who know our oceans, and so you guys know better than any scientist based out of Anchorage or Homer about what’s going on here on the ground.”
Participants will be paid to provide information on topics including when seabirds show up, how long berrypicking season lasts, and other environmental issues that may demand planning and adaptation.
Shaishnikoff says this guidance will equip local decision makers to better identify threats and challenges driven by climate change.
Six committee members will meet quarterly throughout 2023. Shaishnikoff says meetings will focus on the concept of guustilix^.
“Guustilix^ is the Unagan form of visiting and essentially what that entails is when you get together with your friends, your family, colleagues, anybody; you sit down over coffee or tea, maybe some fish dip or snacks … and really just create a space for where there’s trust and where we’re going to have an organic conversation of knowledge sharing — and really, just sitting in a safe, comfortable space.”
A professor is conducting a survey to learn more about the millions of American Indian and Alaska Native people living in urban areas.
Emma VandenEinde of the Mountain West News Bureau reports.
The survey asks if they live in an apartment or a house, conditions, and experiences finding housing.
Sofia Locklear is a professor at Western University in Canada and she’s from the Lumbee Tribe in North Carolina.
She launched the survey two months ago and has received nearly 800 responses.
“That signals that, like people want to talk about this. You know, I’m getting emails, people saying, I really want to tell you my story about trying to find housing.”
Her goal is to use this data to inform policy and allocate funds to American Indian and Alaska Native people.
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