Heroes of the Week: WECAN Indigenous Women Working to Save the Tongass Forest

Photo: Melissa Lyttle, Mother Jones

Greta Thunberg has nothing on these ladies!  Last March, they traveled 3000 miles from their home in Alaska to lobby Congress to continue to conserve the Tongass National Forest, one of the largest carbon sinks on the planet.  The Trump Administration is considering lifting current protections on the area.  These Tlingit women were part of a delegation sponsored by the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), a nonprofit group that engages women worldwide in environmental advocacy.  But in order to make sure they were seen and remembered by the Members of Congress they met, they wore their traditional regalia.  And they explained, “If you destroy the Tongass Forest, if you destroy the ecosystem, the salmon, the rivers, the trees, you also are committing cultural genocide against indigenous people because they are the land the land is them.”  Yes, WECAN!

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