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Courtesy of 

Katie Orlinsky

Climate Change

Second Place

Katie Orlinsky

The Last Hunt

Alaska, United States. Northwest Territories, Canada.

Climate change is an urgent crisis that will affect everyone on the planet, and for millions of people it already has. Nowhere is this clearer than the Arctic, “ground zero” for climate change, where warming weather, vanishing sea ice and thawing permafrost are diminishing natural habitats and transforming the relationship between people, animals and the land. For indigenous communities across the North American Arctic, climate change threatens to bring an end to their very way of life. Hunting, fishing and foraging for food, known as “subsistence,” is the anchor of culture and economy for many indigenous communities in Alaska and Canada, some of which are so fragile that only a handful of living elders still speak their native languages. Yet as sea ice melts and permafrost thaws, hunting conditions have become increasingly dangerous and unpredictable, and food cannot be safely stored in traditional ice cellars. Animals such as whales, walrus and caribou are dying off and migrating in new patterns, and the communities who depend on them for nutrition, income, and spiritual practices are being pressured in countless ways.

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