HomeGadgetsAboriginal communities become the "sacrifice zone" after Ada

Aboriginal communities become the “sacrifice zone” after Ada

On August 31, 2021, people walked past the deck of a house severely damaged by Hurricane Ada in Montgut, Louisiana.

Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

Christine Verdin, 62, serves on the restoration committee of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian tribe, a member of the tribe.Since Sunday, she has been working hard to collect relevant Damage caused by Hurricane Ida In her corner of southeastern Louisiana.

“It’s like an explosion in our community,” she wrote in a text message.

The tribe is a community of approximately 700 people living in the parishes of Lafourche and Terrebonne in southeastern Louisiana, separated by Bayou Pointe-au-Chien. When the storm roared on the shore, these parishes were one of the worst-hit areas in Ada. Category 4 hurricane Earlier this week. The community still lacks electricity and water.many Cell launcher is still offline, So telephone services are also uneven. Verdin and her sister spent the weekend in Mississippi to avoid the storm, but most of her tribe stayed in place. Two days after Ada’s landing, Verding said she could not reach her brother, who was the chairman of the Pointe-au-Chien tribe and stayed at home during the storm.

Although there have been a lot of reports on Hurricane Ida Impact on New Orleans-This is really bad, because the city was left in the dark-other places have been hit harder. Indigenous communities were hit hard by the hurricane, but some indigenous organizers said that even if they were fighting the destruction of Ada, they received little attention.

Almost all other houses in the Verdin community were damaged. (Thankfully, her house has largely survived.) Of the dozens of houses, Welding estimates that only a few on both sides of the estuary are still suitable for living. The Point-au-Chien tribal buildings were also destroyed by Ada’s powerful storm surge, wind and rain.

Verdin remembers the hurricane that hit her community when she was a child, but then, Barrier island of wetlands By absorbing the impact of storm surge, it plays a protective role. thanks The subsidence and sea level rise caused by the burning of the above fuels, Louisiana has already Lost wetland It has grown at an alarming rate in the past 80 years.

The fossil fuel industry has Carved and dredged canal Access to land creates a channel for ships, drilling platforms and pipelines to pass through the swamp. These canals expand as sea water flows into them from the sea, killing the vegetation that binds the swamps together. When it rains, the storm will wash away the soil.

“They will give us a buffer,” she said on the phone. “Those are gone.”

As a result, the Gulf of Mexico is encroaching on the Pointe-au-Chien tribe-each year, approximately 16 square miles (41 square kilometers) to the sea. At the same time, the area was hit by hurricane after hurricane and it got worse. Part of the reason is the climate crisis.

“We have seen so many hurricanes,” Verdin said. One of them, Hurricane Rita in 2005, the strongest tropical cyclone on record in the Gulf of Mexico, destroyed Welding’s childhood home.

In the past 30 years, due to hurricane damage to their houses, many sharp-cornered families chose to rebuild their houses on stilts between 15 and 17 feet (approximately 5 meters) high. But Welding said that the surge in Ada even destroyed some of them.

Repairs are expensive and funds are scarce. Many people in the Point-au-Chien community make a living by catching shrimp, but during the active hurricane season, it may be too dangerous to take the trawler out of the water. Hurricane Ida destroyed the shrimp fishing industry, Destroy ships and equipment. Long before the hurricane, the industry was already in trouble due to pollution from the hurricane. BP oil spill in 2010 And the Gulf “dead zone” Pollution Low-oxygen areas created by fertilizers, sewage and other pollutants can kill marine life.

A destroyed home of Port-au-Prince tribe members.

A destroyed home of Port-au-Prince tribe members.
Photo: Port-au-Prince Tribe

Point-au-Chien is not the only Aboriginal community that was crumbling after Hurricane Ida. The 17,000 members of the neighboring Houma Nation living in an area spanning six Louisiana parishes on the southeast coast were also hit hard by the storm.

An official of the tribe told Aboriginal News Today that the members of the community are Killed by the storm, But it is unclear how many.The authorities are still collecting information on casualties, but due to lack of electricity, internet and reliable mobile phone service, and due to Their tribal buildings were destroyed.

Houma Nation members, filmmakers, and organizers and Monique Verdin (Verdin is a common surname for indigenous communities along the Gulf Coast) evacuated her home in Pensacola, Fla. Has been coordinating rescue work from afar.

“It seems that we need a lot of resources,” she said, noting that Indigenous communities may find it difficult to obtain federal relief. “It all depends on what your paperwork is like [or] If you have paperwork. How do you navigate these systems and keep up with them? For example, can you access technology? Or do you know how to navigate on a computer? All of these have brought different advantages to different people. “

She remembers what her community looked like after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. “This is the end of the world, everything is turned upside down,” she said. “I evacuated and returned to an unrecognizable place that had just been soiled by floods and the stench of death and rotting things.”

Despite this damage, Monique and Christine both stated that after Hurricane Katrina, indigenous communities were largely excluded from media coverage, which may make it difficult for them to obtain necessary assistance.

“When we are hit by a storm, it often happens that everyone will say,’Oh, New Orleans, New Orleans,'” Monique said. “All remote coastal communities were completely excluded and forgotten. The supplies were first shipped to New Orleans, and they never reached the rural communities.

“We can bear a lot. But what we inherited at the end of the delta, in this sacrifice zone…too much.”

To help Point-au-Chien recover, you can donate to this PaypalThe information about donating to the United Houma State is here. Another bay is possible too Fund raising For Indigenous communities and other communities on the front line.

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