WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, July 15, the White House recognized ten individuals from across the country as “White House Champions of Change for Climate Equity.” Tribal member and Division of Environmental Protection Manager and Climate Change Planning Coordinator Michael Durglo, Jr. traveled to Washington DC to receive the prestigious award.
The White House selected these individuals for their work empowering low-income and underserved communities to prepare for and adapt to climate change. These leaders have initiated powerful changes to ensure that those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change have the resources they need to thrive and build resilient communities.
Council on Environmental Quality Managing Director Christy Goldfuss and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Dr. John Holdren presented the awards.
Durglo, Jr. began his career in environmental advocacy in 1979. In 2013, he led CSKT in developing a climate change strategic plan to address the effects of climate change on the Flathead Reservation and set a powerful example for other tribes as they develop strategies to protect the cultural and environmental resources. Durglo, Jr. has also worked to engage community youth in sustainability projects through the Environmental Advocates for Global Logical Ecological Sustainability (EAGLES) Program.
Climate change exacerbates existing health and socioeconomic inequities, placing children, the elderly, the sick, the low income, and communities of color at particular risk. These communities often have limited capacity and resources necessary to prepare for and adapt to a changing environment. The Obama Administration has been committed to addressing climate change in a way that makes equity a priority and celebrating local leaders who are making a difference in their communities.