A New Series, “Tokala,” Spotlights BIPOC Youth Climate Activists
Updated: Jul 19, 2022
BY CHRISTIAN ALLAIRE DIRECTED BY JAZMIN GARCIA PHOTOGRAPHY BY CARLOS JARAMILLO STYLED BY MARCUS CORREA
July 5, 2022
Since the Central Valley Project was enacted in the 1930s, 18 dams and reservoirs have been put into place on major rivers—including Hoopa’s Trinity River—to create electricity and transport water to thirsty crops in nearby cities. This has caused a water shortage in their community and made the little that is left drastically decrease in quality. “For the past four or five years, the river has been very unhealthy,” says Frank. “By the end of August, our local news channel flashes all these warnings where we're not allowed to have our kids or dogs down there, because ingesting that water could kill you.” She sees protecting Hoopa’s main water source as crucial to her people’s survival—and key for the next generations to flourish, too: “We are a piece of the land, and it’s a piece of us; When it’s hurting, we’re hurting.”
Frank currently works for the organization Save California Salmon as its youth coordinator, where her current boss Regina Chichizola has served as another mentor. She joined the organization when she was just 16. “We created a curriculum called ‘Water Advocacy in Native California.’ It's actually a standardized curriculum that's being taught in about 30 public schools in California now,” says Frank.
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