Fitial to represent native NMI culture at climate change talks

Gov. Benigno R. Fitial will represent the CNMI when he joins other Pacific Island and coastal tribe community leaders who will comprise a panel during an inaugural symposium discussing climate change.

The “First Stewards: Coastal Peoples Address Climate Change” is slated for July 17 to 20 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. and will be hosted by the coastal indigenous people led by the Hoh, Makah, and Quileute Tribes and the Quinault Indian Nation.

The symposium will be a national event examining the impact of climate change on indigenous coastal cultures and exploring solutions based on millennia of traditional ecological knowledge, according to a media release issued by the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council.

“All around the United States, coastal indigenous people are confronted with loss of food, loss of land, loss of a way of life due to global climate change. But they are working to adapt, as they’ve adapted to changing conditions for millennia,” the statement said.

The event is a partnership between the tribal and Pacific Island indigenous communities with scientists, governmental and non-governmental organizations such as the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, National Congress of American Indians, National Marine Sanctuaries and National Marine Fisheries Service under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and The Nature Conservancy.

Other partners include American Native Renewables; EA Engineering, Science, and Technology; Salmon Defense, Uncas Consulting Services; and United south and Eastern Tribes.

A third generation Refaluwasch, Fitial will be among the hundreds of native chiefs, witnesses, and climate scientists, along with policymakers and non-government organizations for a “groundbreaking” dialogue in what is planned to be an annual meeting to discuss the issue of climate change.

Visit for more information about the symposium.

Jun Dayao Dayao
This post is published under the Contributing Author. He/she does not normally work for Saipan Tribune but contributes for a specific topic or series.

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