Global Climate Change is Forcing Eskimos into Homelessness

Three igloos in the mountains, Kitzsteinhorn
Barrow, Alaska. December 25, 2011

Barrow, AK. Global climate change is forcing large Eskimo communities on the northern stretch of the North American continent into homelessness since their igloos have been reduced to large muddy areas on the tundra. The average temperature of the region has increased by over 20 degrees in the past five years making making it impossible to build the traditional Eskimo dwellings. The homeless natives have been streaming into larger cities in for months. The residents of Barrow, Alaska have been reporting that as many as 100 displaced people and 1600 sled dogs have swamped their town nearly tripling it’s population.

Akycha Nanook is a refugee who is seeking shelter in Barrow. He claims that living in the melting igloo towns was a traumatic experience. “You would go to sleep in the safety of your igloo and wake up in just a puddle out in the open.” At first Akycha thought he was sleepwalking and peeing his sealskin pants but after he talked to his neighbors he found that his experience was not an isolated incidence.

first sight of Pangong Tso Lake
Barrow, Alaska. December 23, 2014

Many other refugees expressed surprise that the ground is not actually white but more of an earth tone brown. Miki Sinniktok is one of the refugees who has recently seen dirt for the first time. “It blew my mind. All this time I thought the whole world was white, like in Apple commercials.” Though she dislikes the newly discovered substance, she says it has it’s advantages. “Polar bears really stand out against this brown stuff which is a great because now you can see them from more than ten feet away.” This will likely cause an explosion in the population growth of far northern villages.

Aid, which includes trailer loads of ice and chest freezers, has been streaming into Barrow. Town officials are hopeful that with these new construction materials they can start rebuilding soon. “As it turns out,” Chad Hitchcock, the mayor of Barrow, says, “Those crazy people from National Geographic may have been right about this global warming thing. Maybe our Light the Night campaign we started a year ago actually had unintended repercussions.” The Light the Night campaign was started by an Alaskan congressman returning from Florida on vacation in an effort to warm the inhospitable Alaskan environment.

Chad shakes his head as he scans the relief efforts. “Who would’ve thought that we’d be selling this much ice to Eskimos?”

Florida has also been reporting strange weather phenomenons, including a white Cocaine like substance falling from the sky (Click here to read the story).


Read more from Joshua Snader on the subject of Alaska on his personal blog:

photo credit: Three igloos in the mountains, Kitzsteinhorn © Rita J. –



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