Editorial: Louisiana tribes sound alarm on Gulf's oil disaster
"As thousands of gallons of crude oil spill each day from the exploded BP oil rig, the Deepwater Horizon, tribes along the coast are beginning to feel the impact of an oil spill that began April 20.

Louisiana tribes, such as the United Houma Nation and the Pointe Aux Chenes Indian Tribe, are sounding alarm bells about the health hazards and economic threats posed by the ever-growing oil slick washing onto Louisiana’s fragile marshes and wetlands.

They fear the spill and clean-up could harm those tribal members with respiratory diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, fears supported by environmental experts. Those tribes are also concerned about the impact on plants used in traditional medicines and for basket weaving.

But in the near term, they worry about the devastating impact the oil spill will have on their livelihoods, considering many of the tribes’ members are fishermen, netmakers and suppliers.

“It doesn’t look good,” said Chairman Charles Verdin of the Pointe Aux Chenes Indian Tribe. “Most of our people are fishermen and they’ve shut down most the areas we fish. This will affect families’ food supplies. That’s scary.”"

Get the Story:
Editorial: Oil disaster: Look beyond the human dimensions (Indian Country Today 6/4)

Also Today:
Gulf oil spill touches isolated Pointe-au-Chien Indian tribe and its past (The Washington Post 6/4)
State recognized tribes face greater oil spill risks (Indian Country Today 6/4)
Gulf oil disaster propels tribes into crisis (Indian Country Today 6/3)
Native American Group Hit Hard By Oil Spill (National Public Radio 6/3)

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