Speaker to examine the Inuit, climate change

Carlos Velazquez receives the Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs Outstanding Service Award in 2011.
Carlos Velazquez receives the Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs Outstanding Service Award in 2011.

NIU’s Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability & Energy will host a presentation of “The Inuit: Today’s Victims of Global Climate Change” by Carlos Velazquez, an Otomi Indian and mechanical engineer.

The talk will take place from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, in the Illinois Room of the Holmes Student Center.

Velazquez is the former director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs of the Southern Cherokee Nation. He was honored with the Environmental Educators of North Carolina Outstanding Partnership Award for the Southern Cherokee Nation in 2001 and received the Environmental Educator of the Year Award from Wake County, North Carolina.

Within the last 10 years, the Inuit of Nunavut, Canada, have witnessed the impact of drastic temperature changes and how it affects their food sources. There is obvious concern due to the dangers associated with rising temperatures, such as the impact the melting ice will continue to have on their environment.

Velazquez will share information from his recent trip to Alaska, where he met with members of the International Arctic Research Center. The presentation will also focus on the traditions and culture of the people that are being affected today by the temperature changes taking place in the Arctic Circle.

Attendees can also expect to explore the following questions:

  • What is causing the ice to melt at a rate of 2 degrees to 14 degrees more than other frozen continents?
  • What can be done to ensure the Inuit are able to adapt to the changing food sources and land?
  • How soon before the opening of the Northwest Passage will pollution cause more problems?

The presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, call (815) 753-6563 or email mburlingame@niu.edu.

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