Tribal Profiles, Fact Sheets and Climate Planning Tools

These climate change resources include a wide-range of materials, from profiles of tribal climate change efforts around the United States,  fact sheets that focus on climate change impacts, adaptation strategies, and other relevant topics, and planning resources for developing climate change vulnerability assessments and adaptation plans. Additional tribal climate change planning resources can be found at these sites:

 
Title Description Categorysort descending Geography Website
Vulnerability of Coastal Louisiana Tribes in a Climate Change Context

Living among the bayous in southern Louisiana, coastal tribes have a long history of vulnerability to and impacts from a range of environmental and human-caused events, including storms, subsidence, land sinking and shrinking, sea-level rise and oil spills. These events have posed uncommon challenges to these indigenous communities. In January 2012, several tribal communities from coastal Louisiana (including Grand Bayou Village, Grand Caillou/Dulac, Isle de Jean Charles and Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribes) met to “share knowledge, support, cultural connectivity and adaption strategies” in response to the significant environmental changes they face. This meeting, convened by the tribes and attended by the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), brought together local tribal members, national tribal leaders, faith leaders, government agency representatives, and resource specialists to share information on the various opportunities, resources, and programs available to tribal communities experiencing the impacts of large-scale environmental change.

Adaptation, Collaboration, Tribal Gulf Coast, Southeast Link
Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point: Climate Change Impacts and Strategies

Steve Crawford, director of the Passamaquoddy Tribes' Environmental Department and chair of the Natural Resources Committee of the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) cooperative, is working with local tribes to spread the word about climate change and addressing what tribes can do through adaptation and miitigation. Steve is working with Passamaquoddy Tribe on alternative energy and fuel sources, and feels immediate action is required to reverse the warming process.

Adaptation, Mitigation, Education, Energy, Tribal Northeast Link
First Stewards Symposium: Coastal Peoples Address Climate Change

In July 2012, four coastal treaty tribes from Washington State, the Hoh, Makah, and Quileute Tribes and Quinault Indian Nation, hosted the First Stewards Symposium at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC in recognition of the rapid changes coastal tribes are experiencing from climate change and changes in marine ecosystems. The Symposium convened coastal people from across the United States and its territories to discuss the impacts of climate change and strategies for mitigation and adaptation. Tribal leaders, governmental and non-governmental agency representatives, academics, and non-profit indigenous advocates came together to demonstrate the impacts of climate change in regions throughout the U.S. and its territories and how indigenous adaptations to climate change can guide society moving forward. The Symposium emphasized strategies to promote actions in society-at-large to adapt to climate change and discussed the opportunity for native people to be leaders and provide models for other native and non-native communities. The First Stewards Symposium led to a resolution illustrating the impacts of climate change on traditional ways of life and culture and calling for the formal recognition and inclusion of indigenous communities in the formation of policies, management and other government action.

Adaptation, Mitigation, Organization, Tribal National, US States and Territories, International Link
Indigenous Peoples and Northwest Climate Initiatives: Exploring the Role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Resource Management

In 2012, the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NPLCC) and the Northwest Climate Science Center (NW CSC) awarded over $300,000 in funds to seven projects that facilitate the use of traditional ecological knowledge to help inform natural and cultural resource management. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided funds to the NPLCC for these projects, with two of the projects co-sponsored by the Northwest Climate Science Center. This profile showcases projects and shares the diverse ways in which tribal, First Nations and Alaska Native communities are gathering TEK, integrating this knowledge into resource management, and addressing gaps in climate change information.

Adaptation, Mitigation, Tribal Northwest Link
Mescalero Apache Tribe: Innovative approaches to climate change adaptation

The Mescalero Apache Tribe of south-central New Mexico has been observing changes in the local climate and ecosystems, including changes in temperature and precipitation and increased frequency and intensity of wildfires in the area due to exceptionally dry forest conditions. This profile provides an overview of various projects that are helping the tribe to adapt and become more resilient to climate change impacts, including landscape conservation projects, renewable energy and energy efficiency, fisheries and water projects, and sustainability initiatives.

Adaptation, Research, Tribal Southwest Link
Tuscarora: Drawing on Traditional Teaching to Confront a Changing Climate

The Tuscarora Nation is one of Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, commonly referred to as the Iroquois, all based in New York state. Each Nation in the confederacy has taken steps to address climate change impacts and promote cultural solidity by tapping their traditional knowledge base. The Tuscarora began an Environmental program that has addressed an array of bio-cultural concerns through innovative programs that draw on traditional knowledge. Projects include protecting the community's traditional food base through a seed-banking program and community-based agriculture, conducting a comprehensive GIS analysis of the tribe's natural resources, land-restoration projects, a program to pass cultural knowledge and wisdom to the youth, and sustainability efforts.

Adaptation, TEK, Tribal Northeast Link
Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe: Climate Change and Adaptation Planning for Haudenosaunee Tribes

Tribes are beginning to identify potential climate change impacts on their cultural and environmental resources and to develop climate change adaptation plans. The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, located in New York and Canada, is in the early stages of adaptation planning. The Tribe is bringing together the Haudenosaunee decisions makers from the Tuscarora Nation, Seneca Nation, Tonawanda Nation, Onondaga Nation, Cayuga Nation, and Oneida Nation in New York as well as the Mohawk Nation and Shinnecock Nation to identify priority resources that should be considered in addressing climate change. The goal of the Haudenosaunee and other Tribes is to combine knowledge of traditional cultural resource values with local knowledge of recent climate changes. The ultimate goal of this unique strategy is to bring together Tribal decision makers to share information that will lead to practical planning.

Adaptation, Tribal Northeast Link
Nez Perce Tribe: Carbon Sequestration Program

In the mid to late 1990’s, the Nez Perce Forestry & Fire Management Division began developing a carbon offset strategy to market Carbon Sequestration Credits. This profile describes the tribe’s initial trial afforestation project, and their strategies for reinvesting revenue from the sale of carbon to invest in additional afforestation projects, wildlife rehabilitation and forest development.

Carbon Sequestration, Carbon Offset, Tribal Northwest Link
Climate Change Planning Tools for First Nations -- Guidebook 3: Vulnerability and Community Sustainability

CIER has developed a set of guidebooks designed for First Nations communities to aid in the development of climate planning documents. This is the third guidebook in that series.

Climate adaptation, Planning International Link
Climate Change Planning Tools for First Nations -- Guidebook 6: Monitoring Progress and Change

CIER has developed a set of guidebooks designed for First Nations communities to aid in the development of climate planning documents. This is the second guidebook in that series.

Climate Adaptation, Planning International Link
Looking to the Future on Alaska’s North Slope

In order to understand the potential costs and benefits of developing Arctic resources in a safe and sustainable manner—and to help ensure that residents and ecosystems in the region can adapt as conditions change—federal, state, local, and Native entities in Alaska formed the North Slope Science Initiative (NSSI). The group is authorized to serve as an inter-governmental forum for science collaboration through the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Climate Change, Development, Biodiversity Conservation Alaska, Arctic Link
Columbia River Intertribal Fishing Commission (CRITFC) Climate Change Strategies

this webpage provides information about CRITFC's ongoing efforts to address climate impacts. The site also features links to the Facing Climate Change video series.

Climate Planning Northwest Link
Climate Change and the Coquille Indian Tribe: Planning for the effects of Climate Change

In 2008, the Coquille Indian Tribe established a Climate Change Committee to engage tribal government, tribal members, and natural and cultural resource managers in the development of a Climate Change Action Plan. This profile highlights key concerns and potential climate change impacts to the Coquille Tribe, and initial tribal strategies to address climate change.

Coastal, Adaptation, Mitigation, Tribal Northwest Link
Swinomish Climate Change Initiative

In 2007, the Swinomish Tribe passed a Climate Change proclamation in response to growing concerns about potential impacts of climate change on the Swinomish Indian Reservation. This profile highlights the project climate change impacts for climate change, their planning process for the impact assessment and action plan development, as well as key partners and project successes and challenges.

Coastal, Adaptation, Tribal Northwest Link
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) Climate Change Fisheries Impacts

The harvest of salmon has declined by as much as 90 percent over the past several decades and can be attributed to a combination o f climate change and poor land and water management. Overharvesting of timber and land clearing of soil and plants have degraded some of nature's natural filtration systems which help keep toxins out of aquatic sytems. Additionally, as the impacts of climate change are felt from rising sea level to drought and flooding, matters will only grow worse. However with the ongoing tribal environmental work, the use of traditional knowledge ,and the push for better decisions, perhaps there is a chance to retore salmon populations.

Coastal, Fisheries Management, Tribal Northwest Link
Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians: Rising Tides

The Isle de Jean Charles is a slender ridge of land between Bayou Terrebonne and Bayou Pointe-aux-Chene in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana-home to the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians. Although once virtually cut off from civilization until the 1950's the island tribe is now dealing with serious changes to the natural environment from anthropogenic interference. This includes impacts from oil and gas that has allowed salt water to inundate wetlands' levees that have cut off Mississippi water flow and sediment needed to replenish the land. These imapcts, in conjuction with rising sea level and an increased storm severity due to climate change, is contributing to the disapearance of the island.

Coastal, Sea Level Rise, Tribal Gulf Coast, Southeast Link
Pueblo of Tesuque: Water Scarcity and Fire Management in a Changing Environment

The Pueblo of Tesuque is located in the desert Southwest, approximately 10 miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The traditional Tesuque form of farming has long been hailed as a benchmark for sustainable agriculture in arid environments. Unfortunately, the climate change-induced decline in regional precipitation has made traditional farming more challenging for the Tesuque people. In addition to ongoing concerns about surface water volume and access, the Pueblo of Tesuque Environment Department has to contend with regional fire hazards, which are predicted to intensify with climate change. In light of these climate change-driven environmental concerns, the Pueblo of Tesuque Environment Department has turned its attention toward (1) watershed management and planning and (2) wildland restoration.

Drought, Management, Tribal Southwest Link
Navajo Nation: Dune Study Offers Clues to Climate Change

limate change coupled with inceasing drought conditions over the last 15 years has had aconsiderable effect on the Navajo Nation, including the reactiviation of sand dune migration and sand dune migration. The sand dunes offer tangible evidence of spiking drought conditions and a glimpse into the future of an unstable ecosystem and the effects on sheep herding and other familiar ways of life.

Drought, Research, Tribal Southwest, Four Corners Link
The Tohono O'odham: Desert People in a Changing Environment

Since the beginning of O’odham history, the Tohono O'odham of southern Arizona and northern Mexico have adapted to high summer heat and water scarcity. Until a century ago the tribe lived in the mountains, descending to desert lowlands from spring through late summer to capture monsoon rains and practice "flood farming" of corn, squash, beans and melons, and to gather desert foods that include cholla buds, saguaro fruit and tepary beans. In recent years, as climate change disrupts the tribe's traditional and modern ways of living, the O'odham people are examining short- and long-term solutions through the development of a Climate Change Adaptation Plan. The draft plan is under review and scheduled for release in the summer of 2017. Its final details are not yet available, but the plan will address a variety of challenges that impact the tribe's communities and O’odham culture.

Drought, Water insecurity, Rising Temperatures, Community Health, Adaptation Arizona, New Mexico Link
Intertribal COUP: Prairie Winds

Before drought perpetuated by climate change hit the northern Great Plains,hydro-power was a major power source. However, now nearly 80% of power generation is produced from lignite coal (dirty coal) combustion. To help address the impacts of dirty-coal, fourteen tribes are presently allied with the I-COUP wind-power cooperative in developing and installing wind turbines on tribal lands. Currently the largest plant is located on Rosebud Sioux reservation and plans are underway to have the tribes supplying 300 mW of wind energy by 2015.

Energy, Wind Energy, Tribal Plains, Midwest Link
Local Environmental Observer (LEO Network) Map

LEO is a network of tribal professionals, community experts and scientists who share information about environmental observations. LEO Network features a real-time map so that observations can be viewed relative to one another. LEO Network works to increase collaboration across communities and increase understandings about climate change in Alaska. The LEO Network website includes information about LEO, a map of observations, and data on types of observations currently trending.

Environmental Observation, Community-based Observation, Local Environmental Observation, Climate Impacts, Mapping, Partnerships Alaska Link
The Quileute Tribe: Navigating a Sea of Change

The people of the Quileute Tribe of the Quileute Reservation, located on the Pacific Coast of Washington's Olympic Peninsula at the mouth of the Quillayute River, have for centuries depended on the sea and the rivers that flow through the community from the coastal mountains. But environmental pressures likely tied to climate change have diminished the tribe's traditional food sources, at times pushing some species below harvestable levels, including salmonids whose migration cycles have been disrupted by changes in snowfall patterns. Other problems have arisen as a result of shifts in precipitation and average temperatures, storm intensity, and changing marine chemistry. As climate change continues to impact the Quileute community, tribal members are rethinking not only their means of sustenance but their geographic location. Federal legislation in 2012 gave the small tribe an additional square mile of higher land to which they are slowly relocating parts of their community—a limited but possibly critical option.

Food insecurity, Flooding, Shoreline Erosion, Wildfires, Relocation, Coasts Pacific Northwest, Olympic Peninsula, Washignton State Link
Tribal Connections - US Forest Service Indian Lands Map Viewer

The U.S. Forest Service released Tribal Connections, a new online interactive mapping tool that shows how lands managed by the agency connect or overlap with current tribal trust lands and lands tribes exchanged with the federal government prior to 1900. This reference tool will help Forest Service employees and the public better understand historical treaties and the role they play in making current land management decisions. Tribal Connections contains multiple layers that include information on forests and grasslands managed by the agency, lands owned by tribes and historical data on lands ceded by treaties. Nearly 4,000 miles of shared boundaries between tribal lands and Forest Service-administered/owned land are identified.

Forest Service, GIS, mapping, tribal trust lands, treaties Link
Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa: Creative Solutions for a Changing Environment

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians resides in the northeast corner of Minnesota along Lake Superior. The dynamic environs of the region host a wide array of birds, fish, mammals, amphibians and reptiles. Unprecedented warming of Lake Superior in recent years suggests that climate change is taking effect around Grand Portage and is threatening local wildlife species. One of the Grand Portage Band’s major concerns is that climate change may lead to the loss of culturally significant subsistence species including moose and brook trout in the Lake Superior region. The tribe hopes that by investing in mitigation projects it can accomplish environmental and natural resources goals, achieve energy and food independence, contribute to carbon solutions, and reduce expenses to community members. In addition to existing mitigation projects and initiatives, the tribe is currently developing a comprehensive climate change adaptation and mitigation plan for tribal lands and resources. The plan addresses water quality, air quality, sustainable forestry, adaptation to shifts in fisheries and wildlife, sustainable food ventures, alternative energy development, and energy conservation programs.

Mitigation, Adaptation, Tribal Great Lakes, Northeast Link
Oglala Lakota Nation: Oyate Omniciyé | Oglala Lakota Plan

A consortium of dedicated Oglala Lakota programs and organizations was awarded nearly a million dollars in the form of a HUD Sustainable Communities Planning Grant to pursue a path towards creating a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development for the Oglala Lakota Nation in South Dakota. The planning effort is being led by the non-profit Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation and includes numerous partners from within the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribe, as well as many non-governmental public and private partners. The Tribe also became the first official Tribal member of ICLEI USA–Local Governments for Sustainability. By joining, the Tribe made a voluntary pledge to mitigate climate change, seek adaptation measures, and promote sustainability. Ultimately, a Climate Action Plan for the Tribe will be developed and with the goal of inclusion in the overall Oyate Omniciyé | Oglala Lakota Plan.

Mitigation, Adaptation, Tribal Plains, Midwest Link
Fort McDowell Yavapai: Harnessing solar power for energy independence and utilities savings: http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/southwest_fmyavapai.asp

The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation is located east of Phoenix in central Arizona. Not surprisingly, the large deserts of Arizona, including those in the Phoenix area, "offer some of the highest solar power potential in the country" according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In addition to the greenhouse gas reductions associated with renewable energy, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Tribe long ago realized the tremendous financial incentives posed by solar power. The profile provides an overview of several solar photovoltaic projects that the tribe has been implementing.

Mitigation, Renewable energy, Solar, Tribal Southwest Link
Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, located in northeastern Minnesota, is striving to reduce its carbon footprint and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Sustainability, energy efficiency, and the development of renewable energy are key goals, and the Band aims to protect the reservation and its resources for the cultural, spiritual, and physical well-being of its people.

Mitigation, Renewable energy, Tribal Great Lakes, Northeast Link
Algaaciq Native Village: Climate Change Impacts and Mitigation Efforts

Algaaciq Native Village (also known as St. Mary’s) is a predominantly Yupik village of approximately 500 people. The village lies near the confluence of the Andreafsky and Yukon Rivers, upstream from the delta into the Bering Sea in southwest Alaska. This profile describes observed impacts of climate change on the village and a woodstove changeout project that has Increased air quality and provided environmental benefits.

Mitigation, Tribal Alaska Link
Northern Cheyenne Tribe: A Climate Showcase Community

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe of southeastern Montana takes climate change seriously and is doing something about it. The tribe has been progressing on a showcase demonstration project on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 metric tons CO2e annually through energy retrofits of the Tribal Environmental Protection Department (EPD) building. This project is supported by a $200,000, two-year grant provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 through its Climate Showcase Community Program.

Mitigation, Tribal Midwest, Plains Link
ITEP Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Planning Toolkit

This "toolkit" is a collection of templates and other resources developed by the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) to assist tribes in their climate change adaptation planning process. The materials provided are not "one-size-fits-all" solutions, and users are encouraged to modify the materials to better represent the needs and priorities of their own tribe. The primary users of these materials will be the tribe’s climate change working group.

Planning Guide National Link

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