‘American Diagnosis’: As Climate Crises Batter the Bayou, Houma People Are Being Displaced

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Episode 11: “Local weather Displacement, Cultural Resilience”

Lanor Curole is a member of the United Houma Nation. She grew up in Golden Meadow, a small bayou city in Southern Louisiana. The impacts of repetitive flooding within the space pressured her to maneuver farther north.

Louisiana’s coastal wetlands lose about 16 sq. miles of land annually. This land loss, air pollution from the 2010 BP oil spill, and lingering devastation from Hurricanes Katrina and Ida are pushing many Houma folks out of their properties.

Since 1985, the United Houma Nation has been searching for federal tribal recognition standing. With out this standing, the tribe has fewer sources to answer the local weather disaster.

“Our persons are on that entrance line, however we don’t have a seat at that desk,” Curole mentioned.

Gaining federal recognition would grant the Houma entry to the Indian Well being Service and would enable the tribe to work instantly with federal companies just like the Federal Emergency Administration Company when storms strike.

“It’s not like Willy Wonka’s ‘golden ticket’ … however I believe it does open some further doorways which are positively closed to us proper now,” Curole mentioned.

Episode 11 explores the Houma folks’s efforts to protect tradition within the face of the local weather disaster.

(Oona Tempest / KHN)

Voices from the episode:

  • Lanor Curole, Houma tribal administrator
  • Thomas Dardar Jr., former chief of the United Houma Nation
  • Shanondora Billiot, assistant professor of social work at Arizona State College
  • Daniel Lewerenz, assistant professor on the College of North Dakota Faculty of Legislation

Season 4 of “American Prognosis” is a co-production of KHN and Simply Human Productions.

Our Editorial Advisory Board contains Jourdan Bennett-BegayeAlastair Bitsóí, and Bryan Pollard.

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