President Obama announced at the White House Tribal Nations Summit, that the Department of the Interior would award three Native American tribes $75 million to relocate to the inland and prevent climate-related flooding.
Each tribe will be awarded $25 million to relocate their homes and main buildings from the rising waters.
According to the Times, $5 million will be provided to each of the eight additional tribes by the White House to help them “consider” whether they should move.
According to the Department of the Interior, the Alaskan tribes face high risks of coastal erosion, extreme weather disasters, and rising waters due to climate change.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland stated that Indian Country must be protected against the unique and increasing impacts of climate change in a statement.
Fawn Sharp was vice president of the Quinault Nation and president of the National Congress of American Indians. According to Fawn Sharp, the grant money would be used to help Quinault Indian Nation build a community center, move up a hill, and provide wellness and health services. It will be used as a meeting place for the general council and an emergency evacuation shelter.
Sharp claimed that the $25 million grant given to the tribe would not be enough to cover half of the relocation costs.
According to a 2020 Bureau of Indian Affairs report, Native American tribes would need to move in the next five decades in order to avoid climate-related catastrophes.
A previous competition was held at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Tribes could apply for relocation funds up to $3,000,000. However, the bureau won’t disclose the selection process.
Biden stated that there are “tribal communities in danger of being washed away.” Biden also stated that grants could be used to allow tribes to move their entire communities back onto safer ground. ”
Officials said that the funds would go to other communities in the future.