Impact of Climate Change on Native American Communities

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Impact of Climate Change on Native American Communities Mr. President. Tonight my colleagues and I have come to the floor to talk about climate change and to urge action. We believe strongly that it is not too late to confront this serious issue and to reverse our course. We have highlighted impacts that pose specific threats to our home states and the consequences for our nation. At this point, however, I would like to shift our focus a bit to address the perils faced by native communities at home and abroad. In addition to representing a state with a large indigenous population, my committee assignments in the Senate place me in a unique position to listen, study and consult with native people; use my voice to amplify native community concerns; and, engage in legislative and public policy advocacy on behalf of Native Americans on a broad range of issues. I am the third senator from Hawaii to have the honor of serving on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and follow Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Daniel K. Akaka, both of whom served as committee chairs and worked for decades to advance priorities important to native communities. This committee has jurisdiction to study the problems of American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native peoples and to propose legislation to alleviate these difficulties. These issues include but are not limited to: education, health care, economic development, land management and the trust responsibilities of the United States.
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