In 2016, the Isle de Jean Charles, off the Louisiana coast, received the first US climate resettlement grant, and members of the Isle de Jean Charles Band of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe (IDJC) were subsequently referred to as the “first climate change refugees.” In January 2019, IDJC leadership announced its formal rejection of both the funds and the lands Louisiana had purchased with them, explaining that the state had failed to solicit or heed tribal input and that the terms of resettlement meant that the relocated would lose certain access rights to the Isle de Jean Charles. The imminence of the Isle de Jean Charles’s crisis didn’t erase entrenched legacies of injustice, nor did it justify a misguided narrative of totalizing disaster; the Isle de Jean Charles is home, not a barren landscape IDJC members are eager to desert. The IDJC leadership’s...

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