AKSIK: Native voices from the frontlines of climate change
Climate change is most pronounced in the Arctic with:
- greater temperature increases than the rest of the planet;
- more intense storm activity; and
- significant ice, snow, and permafrost melt.
Native villages in Alaska are particularly vulnerable with their subsistence cultures closely attuned to the stability of regional biophysical conditions. We can all learn about climate change from the people in this region as they struggle to adapt and preserve their culture. This website serves as a video library of two native villages in Alaska on the front line of climate change - Savoonga and Shaktoolik - documenting the climate change impacts they are witnessing, describing their key vulnerabilities, and providing an in-depth study of storms and changing wind patterns.
Tuvalu is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Filmmaker Maili Scott documents the main impacts of climate change affecting the country and poses a weighty ethical question: who is responsible to pay the costs of far off impacts of climate change?
In her debut film, Laura St. Andrews highlights the importance of hunting to the people of Savoonga by showcasing scenes of the natural landscape and interviews with village hunters. The film shows how the subsistence village draws its identity from the surrounding land.
This film by Jonathan Ignatowski considers the climatic changes in Savoonga by exploring its impact on maintaining the village’s subsistence food culture.
In her debut film, Joanna Patouris constructs a case for legal action in Kiribati, a small island county in the South Pacific. Patouris presents the imminent danger in Kiribati as seas rise and its people loose their ability to sustain themselves.
The village of Shaktoolik is threatened by the increasingly severe fall storms associated with a warmer Arctic. Filmmaker Mera Kenney captures this perilous situation and highlights the village's need for a road to "somewhere safe.”
In his first film, David Smith focuses on the efforts by villagers in Shaktoolik to construct a berm in front of the village to defend against increasingly dangerous storms.