World: near New York, the latest Amerindians under the threat of global warming

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  Près de New York, les derniers Amérindiens sous la menace du réchauffement climatique © AFP

D Ecimée by first European settlers in America, the last Shinnecock Amerindians from the Heaven's Authority of Hamptons, north of New York, are today 'Hs threatened by another scourge: global warming and the rise of waters.

The Shinnecock tribe has lived on New York Island of Long Island for 13,000 years.

postponed and expelled from their land from the 17th century with the arrival of Europeans, then in the 19th century by the American authorities, they were only 1,600, only half of which is installed on an autonomous reserve of 320 hectares to The east of the peninsula, in Southampton.

Today, their modest villages and housing built by the Atlantic are directly threatened by the rise in the ocean level, erosion and the multiple storms that sweep the region at the end of the summer.

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"Terrible reality"

"A whole people who have lived here has always faced a terrible reality: the obligation to move", sums up for AFP Tela Troge, a lawyer from the Shinnecock tribe.

The Shinnecock are, like a number of Amerindian and Aboriginal tribes in the United States, officially recognized by the American federal government.

their Southampton reserve is a stone's throw from mansions and buildings with disproportionate surfaces, assessed at tens of millions of dollars, for American and foreign multimillionaries: it is the wealthy gem of Hamptons with world reputation.

There, we wander in front of electrified gates and gates, through the hamlet of Shinnecock Hills, which houses an ultra -run golf course built on land that the tribe estimates since 1859.

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and the little territory that remains in the hands of Shinnecock is now threatened by global warming, the rise in waters and the snacking of the coast.

"We see erosion"

At 78, Ed Terry always manufactures traditional jewelry with shells picked up on the sand: he remembers very well that the beach was much wider and the ocean more distant.

"We see erosion. What was the earth is today water. It is as if the sea happened to us", blows the old man by sculpting a shell to make it a earring.

According to environmental studies cited by a government official of the Shinnecock nation, Shavonne Smith, the coast in Southampton fell 45 meters in a few decades.

According to her, 57 houses must be moved and even certain tombs of the tribe's ancestral cemetery are threatened.

In an interview with AFP, Ms. Smith is also alarmed by the "gigantic and stressful" impact on a population "so dependent on water" of a forced move inside the land.

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The Shinnecocks think that the level of the ocean will rise 1.3 meters by the end of this century, with its share of storms and floods that are ever more frequent and more destructive.

Like Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 (44 dead and $ 19 billion in costs according to the city of New York) and Ida last September (at least 91 dead in the northeast of the States- United).

New York experts in climate change are also very pessimistic.

Les Shinnecock engulfs

"Studies show that by 2040, there are 100% probability that the whole Shinnecock nation will be engulfed after a storm," said AFP Professor Scott Mandia of Suffolk County Community University College, on Long Island.

and those "who are the least responsible" for climate change are "those who suffer the most", protests the specialist.

However, the Shinnecock, which traditionally live from fishing and agriculture, are determined not to disappear.

To try to fight against the elements, a reef in oyster shells was built on the beach, large rocks and fences were placed there and grass was planted to prevent the sand from moving forward.

"We are a strong people, we will survive", wants to believe Ed Terry, the jewelry manufacturer.

Admirable efforts, recognizes Professor Mandia, but the Shinnecock "only saves time" before their land is completely uninhabitable.

06/08/2022 10:28:43-Southampton (United States) (AFP)-© 2022 AFP

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