In Many Villages, Alaskans Face Physical and Cultural Erosion

The last time chronic flooding forced this tiny Alaska village to relocate, sled dogs pulled the old church to its new home three miles away, far from the raging Ninglick River. That was in 1950 and life was simpler in Newtok, mostly a collection of traditional sod dwellings. Modern structures gradually took over the new site as the river again crept to the edge of the Yupik Eskimo community. Persistent erosion has eaten an average of 70 feet of bank a year, and now melting permafrost is subsiding, further subjecting the village to severe flooding from intensifying storms. So once again, Newtok must move, leaving residents and officials grappling with an unprecedented crisis that looms over scores of native villages along Alaska's increasingly battered western coast.

//www.truthout.org/issues_06/122606EC.shtml

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