Changing the Southeast Indigenous Climate

Indigenous Peoples have participated in the ecosystem of the North American Southeast since time immemorial. We cultivated fisheries, food and herb growing areas, and hunting grounds with stone and wood corrals, pruning, forking, and burning to encourage new growth and the wildlife that feeds on it. We adapted to gradual climate changes that allowed us to address one impact at a time over years or generations. Southeast

Indigenous Peoples moved to new areas as rivers swelled or shriveled. As Mother Earth moved in our Creator's systems, climate changes caused flora and fauna to move or disappear and we diversified our pursuits, experimenting with fishing and hunting techniques for new food in a changing clime, trying new plants and preparation methods for food and medicine. We modified our architecture, clothing, and transportation modes over generations and centuries as the land we lived in changed or as we moved to new areas in the Southeast if our old areas were inhospitable.

When Europeans came they imposed foreign constructs and economies on southeast winds, waters, lands, cultures, and Peoples. Southeast Indigenous Peoples suddenly lost access to waters and lands that had provided us with food at the same time many were sickened, enslaved, and slaughtered. During the Holocaust much traditional knowledge was lost with the lives of millions of southeast indigenous citizens. Holocaust survivors succeeded in adapting to landscape and life changes while being attacked by European armies that also attacked each other.

Then Europe created a new government here, the United States of America. At this moment the Southeast saw acceleration in changes to landscape, already dramatically changed due to war, development, and industry. Nutrient-depleting mechanical farming, timber operations, and mills that processed their harvests impacted the flow of rivers, movement of the wind, and shape of the land, through which southeast Indigenous Peoples now moved with great difficulty and peril. Though the US damaged southeast wind, water and land while attacking Indigenous Peoples, the US did not militarily defeat the majority of southeast Indigenous Peoples; the US defrauded us. Through fraud the US declared to Europe that the waters, winds, and lands of Indigenous Peoples were now US property. Europe supported the fraud and empowered the US to use indigenous resources to further rearrange the indigenous landscape in the Southeast and to further poison the winds, waters, lands, and Peoples. As the US continued to develop European industries and imported new Peoples to the Southeast, carbon accumulated in the atmosphere causing the indigenous climate to change abruptly and unnaturally. It seems that the US has succeeded in conquering southeast wind, water, and land through climate-changing carbon emissions.

However, these carbon emissions may conquer humanity through climate change that endangers human life. And so unconquered southeast Indigenous Peoples continue to fight for the implementation of original American wind, water, and land policies. As southeast Indigenous Peoples work to reduce carbon emissions so that we can return to a climate shaped by southeast winds, waters, and lands, we reinforce old customs for adapting to weather and climate extremes. Because of the human contributions to climate change we will have to adapt more quickly and with fewer options than in the past to diminishing opportunities to hunt, fish, farm, and gather from our ecosystems, access to which is already restricted by the US.

In conjunction with Indigenous Peoples and organizations, NGOs, and agencies, SIPC is working to equip southeast Indigenous Peoples to lead the Southeast on the path to survival. Sustainable practices promoted by southeast Indigenous Peoples are currently the only coherent governmental response to climate change in the Southeast of North America where colonial customs continue to promote climate-changing carbon emissions. SIPC has spoken to the United Nations on the importance of good governance in response to climate change.