Sheila Watt-Cloutier is a Inuit leader who is taking a standagainst global warming, because her world is melting. She was elected as the head of the Inuit CircumpolarConference, which represents the 155,000 Inuit who live inAlaska, Canada, Greenland and Chukotka, Russia. Her remarkswere originally printed in The Guardian newspaper on January15, 2005. She says that while global warming is affectingthe entire planet, it’s hitting the Arctic much harder.

Inuit elders and hunters have knowledge about the way thesnow and sea ice are supposed to act, as the seasons change,this wisdom has been passed down for generations. It tellsthem which birds, fish and animals will be in the region atwhat times, so it’s necessary knowledge for their survival.

Watt-Cloutier says her homeland in the Arctic is the Earth’sglobal warming indicator, showing how warming is actuallyimpacting the world. We’ve already called Alaska, which ishaving major melting problems, “the canary in the coalmine,” but at least Alaska has sophisticated technology. TheInuit are facing the end of their way of life and perhapseven extinction.

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