ANTHC Publishes Report: Unmet Needs of Environmentally Threatened Alaska Native VillagesJanuary 30, 2024
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) released The Unmet Needs of Environmentally Threatened Alaska Native Villages: Assessment and Recommendations. The nationally significant Unmet Needs Report recommends comprehensive policy changes and robust resources to support Alaska Tribal communities adapting to climate change.
The report is the result of a unique partnership between ANTHC, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the State of Alaska. The report includes contributions of more than 150 people—representing 11 Tribal communities and seven Tribal organizations.
“The Unmet Needs report highlights a pattern of underinvestment resulting in significant unmet infrastructure needs in environmentally threatened communities,” said Valerie Nurr’araluk Davidson, ANTHC President and CEO. “The report’s framework acknowledges Tribes as the rightful leaders in climate change adaptation and recommends necessary resources to equip Tribes and Tribal organizations with the capacity to be successful.”
“The 144 environmentally threatened communities in our state have been home to Alaska Native people for millennia,” added Jacqualine Qataliña Schaeffer, Director of ANTHC Climate Initiatives Program. “The climate impact on physical health is visible and measurable. This report highlights the realities communities are facing. The framework identified through this collaboration provides three pillars to begin meeting the needs that have been unmet in Alaska for far too long.” The three primary unmet needs outlined in the report are rooted in lack of funding, inequitable delivery of resources, and lack of agency coordination.
The aim of the Unmet Needs Report is to improve the effectiveness of federal and state agency support to address climate and environmental threats, including erosion, flooding, and permafrost degradation in Alaska communities. The report also identifies funding needs, priorities, and implementation strategies. In addition to urging Congressional action to facilitate systemic change, information throughout the document may be used by federal agencies to prioritize funding. This report also serves as a potential framework for addressing unmet needs of environmentally threatened communities across the country.