Climate, Culture, and Mothers: The Effects of Relocation on Isle de Jean Charles’s Choctaw Nation


  • Kelsey Stankard


As climate change worsens, most Americans heed the headlines about scorching summers and unprecedented storms. However, some people in the United States experience rapid climate change with flooded houses and government relocation. In Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, the Indigenous Choctaw Nation is the first group to receive government funding for a climate-induced relocation in the United States. In 2016, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development gave the community $48.3 million to move away from Isle de Jean Charles to land above sea waters in Louisiana. As disagreements about the best method for relocation arise, the preservation of Choctaw culture in Louisiana is at stake. How can Choctaw mothers pass Choctaw tradition to their children during a cultural and physical schism within the Indigenous nation? As the Choctaw suffer from last-minute government responses that fall short of their societal needs, the people of Isle de Jean Charles are a primary example of how climate change will continue to disrupt communities and devastate cultures worldwide.


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