We Are Still In! Northwest Tribes Declare Formal Support for the Paris Climate Agreement

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) and Northwest Tribes Declare Formal Support for the Paris Climate Agreement

8 Northwest Tribes and ATNI signed declarations to join We Are Still In, a national coalition of 2,600 leaders from across America that are committed to tackling climate change, ensuring a clean energy future, and upholding the Paris Climate Agreement.

PORTLAND, OR — The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) and 8 Northwest Tribal nations declared their support to We Are Still In and joined the growing national coalition of Tribal nations, states, municipalities, cities, counties, corporations, foundations, and organizations that are committed to tackling climate change, ensuring a clean energy future, and upholding the Paris Climate Agreement.

Indigenous people around the world are working to address climate change and it is our duty as Indigenous people of the Northwest to do our part. Today we are joining the We Are Still In coalition because it’s a critical opportunity for our Tribal nations to take a leadership role in climate action efforts,” said Leonard Forsman, President of ATNI and Chairman of the Suquamish Tribe of Washington.

When President Donald Trump announced his intentions to withdraw the United States federal government from the Paris Agreement on June 1, 2017,the administration’s decision was denounced within 72 hours by over 1,200 leaders from state and local government, businesses and universities who signed the We Are Still In declaration. Now the coalition has more than doubled in size, includes members from all 50 states, and has expanded beyond its original four sectors to welcome new stakeholders. This unprecedented network represents more than 127 million Americans and $6.2 trillion of the U.S. economy. To date, We Are Still In is the largest cross-section of local leaders in support of climate action in the United States.

ATNI and 8 Northwest Tribes formally signed declarations of support and provided remarks on the impacts of climate change on their communities.The following 8 Tribes are among the very first Tribal nations to join We Are Still In:

• Blue Lake Rancheria (CA)
• Nisqually Indian Tribe (WA)
• Suquamish Tribe (WA)
• Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (OR)
• Hoh Tribe (WA)
• Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (MT)
• Quinault Indian Nation (WA)
• Jamestown S’Klallam (WA)

Tribal leaders had an opportunity to share their perspectives on the impacts climate change is having on their communities at an ATNI press conference highlighting the signing of the declaration.

The Hoh Tribe of Washington is seeing the negative impacts on the salmon runs each year and the rapid rate of coastal erosion on our traditional lands.We Are Still In is an opportunity to voice our commitment to taking care of our environment and taking an active role in defining our future,” said Bernard Afterbuffalo, Chairman of the Hoh Tribe.

Tribes also voiced their disagreement with the administration’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement; first by passing a resolution through the National Congress of American Indians in June 2017 supporting the Paris Agreement and again in the fall when the National Indian Gaming Association passed resolutions standing by the Paris Agreement and joining We Are Still In. ATNI and the the 8 Northwest Tribes are latest proof point of how Tribal nations are mobilizing and partnering with their state counterparts and other leaders to take local climate action and keep the United States on track towards its targets under the Paris Agreement.

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

In 1953 farsighted tribal leaders in the Northwest formed the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, and dedicated it to tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Today, ATNI is a nonprofit organization representing 57 Northwest tribal governments from Oregon, Idaho, Washington, southeast Alaska, Northern California and Western Montana. ATNI is an organization whose foundation is composed of the people it is meant to serve — the Indian peoples. Through its conferences, forums, networks and alliances, it is the intent of ATNI to represent and advocate for the interests of its member Tribes to national Indian and non-Indian organizations and governments.

We Are Still In

We Are Still In is the broadest cross-section of the U.S. economy ever assembled in pursuit of climate action. Over 2, 600 leaders strong and growing, We Are Still In shows the world that leaders from across America’s state houses, tribal communities, city halls, board rooms, and college campuses stand by the Paris Agreement and are committed to meeting its goals.

CONTACT: Don Sampson, ATNI Tribal Climate Change Project Director
Don@seventhgenerationllc.com, (541) 215-2753

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