Division of Environmental Protection Manager and Climate Change
Planning Coordinator Michael Durglo, Jr. accepts the 'White
House Champions of Change for Climate Equity' award. (photo
courtesy of Char-Koosta News)
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.