Scientists say the Southwest may be in for a 35-year long “megadrought” by the end of the century if we stay on our current trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions. A drought like that would hit Native American communities particularly hard. Many tribal communities still depend on farming and other work that requires access to water.
But Native Americans have lived in this area longer than anyone else, so they’ve developed traditional methods for dealing with drought. Beverly Ramsey is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and she’s studying how practices from her ancestors might offer lessons for the Southwest in the future.