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Louisiana, Alaskan tribes file UN climate change complaint

Some areas where the tribes historically lived are already under water.
Flags of Native American tribes from across the US and Canada line the entrance to a protest encampment near Cannon Ball, North Dakota where members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their supporters have gather to voice their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), September 3, 2016. Drive on a state highway along the Missouri River, amid the rolling hills and wide prairies of North Dakota, and you'll come across a makeshift camp of Native Americans -- united by a common cause. Members of some 200 tribes have gathered here, many raising tribal flags that flap in the unforgiving wind. Some have been here since April, their numbers fluctuating between hundreds and thousands, in an unprecedented show of joint resistance to the nearly 1,200 mile-long Dakota Access oil pipeline. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La. — Four coastal Louisiana tribes and one in Alaska that say the U.S. government has violated their human rights by failing to take action on climate change have submitted a formal complaint to the United Nations in Switzerland. 

The Advocate reports the complaint was filed Wednesday. One tribal chief says they're faced with losing their homeland in 20 years. 

She says that also means a loss of culture and identity. Some areas where the tribes historically lived are already under water. 

The tribes say intervention by the United Nations is necessary because the federal and state governments have not done enough.

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