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Database Provider

Author

Al Jazeera

Grades

11th, 12th, AP® / College

Subjects

Social Studies, History, Geography

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Oregon, Southern Oregon

Format

YouTube Video

Climate Change Is Exposing the Racism Behind an Oregon Water War

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Synopsis
  • This video is about the fight over water rights and access in an Oregon town, where farmers and the Indigenous community are in conflict.
  • It explores how climate change and agricultural practices are exacerbating the issue and exposing historical injustices.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The video offers multiple perspectives to understand the history of the town and the conflicts around water.
  • Students will learn about the connection between the water crisis and systemic racism.
  • The video provides clips of key footage with time stamps.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers should be aware that this video mentions violence and gun use in several instances.
  • Students should have a basic understanding of how climate change is impacting ecosystems and natural resources.

Differentiation

  • History classes can use this resource to discuss the impact of past treaties and conflicts on current Indigenous culture and water conflicts happening today.
  • Science classes can review the video's mention of habitat degradation and its impact on the suckerfish. Then students can discuss nature-based solutions to support healthy ecosystems.
  • Students can record the multiple perspectives presented in the video and try to simulate a debate or city council meeting.
  • Language arts students can offer solutions to the conflict and use persuasive writing to try to appeal to varying perspectives.
Scientist Notes
This video resource from Al Jazeera explores disputes over water resources in Oregon’s Klamath Basin and the history of colonialism and racism at its root. The history of white settlers displacing Native Americans is framed by largely impossible promises that the U.S. government made to both farmers and Indigenous peoples over one hundred years ago. This resource thoroughly explains how poor hydrologic assumptions made in the early twentieth century led to the current water scarcity issues across the west. The video provides a nuanced look at the racism that underpins the water conflict. The heartfelt city council testimony by equity task force member Joey Gentry was the most powerful moment of the video. She highlighted racism against Native Americans and the systemic inequality in the Klamath Basin. In an act that perfectly represents the troubled history of the area, the city council disbanded the equity task force shortly after this testimony. This resource gives a clear analysis of how the history of racism, poor hydrologic planning, and limited resources has led to the current intractable situation. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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