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Wyomingite Joins Indigenous Youth Delegation At UN Climate Talks

Micah Lott

This week, nations are gathering in Madrid for the 25th United Nations summit on climate change and among them is a delegation of Indigenous youth. Northern Arapaho member Micah Lott, who goes by Big Wind, is among them. Over the next week, Big Wind will participate in panels describing how climate change is affecting their life back home.

"Right now, what we can see is that within the next 100 years Wyoming's temperatures are going to look more like Texas," Big Wind said. "And so that's going to change our entire terrain. And within the next 50 years our glaciers are going to be gone and that scares me because that's what replenishes all of our rivers."

Last week, Big Wind addressed a crowd of 500,000 or more and shared the stage with renowned youth climate activist Greta Thunberg. Big Wind spoke about traditional ecological knowledge and how it isn't being taken as seriously as it should be in climate discussions.

"What I want to do and what this delegation wants to do is to be able to amplify those voices, our voices, so that we can have collaborative solutions, so that we can have blended knowledge."

Big Wind said, it's not just Wyoming that's reliant on fossil fuels for its economy but both tribes on the Wind River Reservation as well.

Listen to Open Spaces December 13 for a longer interview with Big Wind.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Melodie Edwards, at medward9@uwyo.edu.

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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