More than 12,000 public health professionals from around the world attended this year’s American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta November 4-8. The meeting theme was “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health,” and many sessions and presentations focused on topics including climate health impacts and indicators, vulnerable populations, climate change adaption approaches and successful community strategies to prepare for extreme heat events and other climate emergencies.
Tribal communities were prominently featured in both opening and closing remarks, along with several sessions and business meetings. In fact, the Keynote Speaker for the Opening General Session was Erieal Tchekwie Deranger, a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation of Northern Alberta, Canada, and Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action, a burgeoning network to support indigenous climate leadership and focus on issues of environmental racism. APHA also conducted an interview with Tchekwie, which can be viewed below.
The Closing Session featured powerful speakers on environmental injustice, including Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, an Inupiiaq activist whose Alaskan community sits on the Arctic Ocean. Ahtuangaruak also serves as a community health practitioner, environmental justice advisory for the Alaska Wilderness league, and member of the Tribal Climate Health Project Advisory Group. Ahtuangaruak told audience members that “changes in your lands and water are changing my lands and water.”
Prosper Sustainably was pleased to represent the Tribal Climate Health Project at the APHA Annual Meeting and was able to connect with several Advisory Group members and partner agencies, including those that attended an informal meeting on Tribal Climate Health.
If you weren’t able to attend APHA 2017, you can view blogs, interviews and sessions by visiting their website. In particular, check out this guest blog written by the Tribal Public and Environmental Health Think Tank in honor of Tribal and Indigenous Health Month, entitled “Climate changes tribal and indigenous health.”