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 here:

Title Sort descending Description Geography Website
A Guidebook for Developing Tribal Water Quality Standards

The first section of the guidebook briefly describes the legal and administrative aspects of developing a water quality program. Having general familiarity with the legal background will help tribes more effectively create and operate the program. The second section of the guidebook briefly describes the technical aspects of developing the program, including setting and administering water quality standards for waterbodies on tribal land. Access the PDF here.

Categories: water quality, resource guide, Tribal land, water law

National Link
Adaptation Workbook for Natural Resources

A growing number of Tribal Nations work with the U.S. Forest Service on adjacent lands through this structured process to consider the effects of climate change on forests and related ecosystems and plan projects together to build climate resiliency.

Categories: forests, lands, climate change, ecosystems, Forest Service

National Link
Addressing Links Between Climate and Public Health in Alaska Native Villages

As emissions of heat-trapping bases accumulate in our atmosphere, Earth's polar regions are warming more quickly than at lower latitudes. The rapid environmental changes that result from this warming can have a significant impact on the physical and mental health of rural Alaskans: unpredictable weather and changes in the seasons have made harvesting food more difficult, hazardous, and stressful. The climate-related challenge faced by Alaska’s tribal health system is to recognize new health stressors and community vulnerabilities, and then find healthy adaptation strategies in an increasingly uncertain future. Since 1997, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) has operated a non-profit, statewide system of health services for more than 143,000 Alaska Native Villages and Native American Tribes. In 2009, ANTHC established the Center for Climate and Health to help people understand climate change impacts on community health and work to address them. To help raise awareness about the connections between climate change and community health, ANTHC uses a variety of communication and education products including ClimeMap, The LEO Network, and an e-journal which provides weekly access to other map tools, updates, assessments, and bulletins.

Categories: U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Climate Change, Human Health, Community Health, Adaptation Strategies

Alaska Link
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium: Assessing Health Impacts and Documenting Observed Changes

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s (ANTHC) Center for Climate and Health has done a tremendous amount of work over the past four years to support Alaska Native communities in chronicling climate change impacts on the landscape and on human health. Staff members from the center apply their “engineering, environmental health and community health experience to perform assessments, develop community-appropriate strategies, and to describe climate-health connections.”Much of the early work has focused on areas of Alaska with high climate vulnerability, including the Northwest Arctic. Impacts of climate change in the Northwest Arctic region range from thinning sea and river ice, to permafrost melting and coastal erosion. Though many research groups are working to identify and monitor the changing environmental conditions around Alaska, ANTHC’s approach is unique both in its data collection methods and its focus, namely community-based adaptation strategies.

Categories: Research, Tribal

Alaska Link
Alaska Native Villages Work to Enhance Local Economies as They Minimize Environmental Risks

While the residents of Alaska Native villages face a disproportionately higher risk of having their traditional subsistence lifestyles affected by Arctic development, they also recognize that changes bring new opportunities. Accordingly, leaders of several Alaska Native Village Corporations have stepped up to discuss the potential positive and negative impacts to their region with resource producers and other development groups. Seven Alaska Native Village Corporations—Gambell, Golovin, Saint Michael, Sitnasuak, Stebbins, Unalakleet, and Wales—have formed a limited liability corporation, the Bering Sea Alliance (BSA), to have a stronger voice in protecting their subsistence way of life when working with other groups such as government agencies and private organizations. Working together through BSA, they aim to engage in dialogue with key stakeholders to protect the rich abundance of their region while striving to enhance their disadvantaged local economies. To help Alaska Natives build local capacity to prepare for oil and gas development, BSA holds a variety of training workshops and conferences for these communities. BSA also seeks joint ventures with organizations in the public and private sectors to provide services such as spill-response and rescue operations.

Categories: U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Climate Change, Policy, Adaptation, Energy Production, Capacity Building, Disaster Risk Reduction

Alaska, Artic Link
Alaskan Tribes Join Together to Assess Harmful Algal Blooms

Increasingly, evidence suggests that warmer ocean temperatures associated with climate change have contributed to worldwide increases in the duration, frequency, and geographical distribution of harmful algal blooms (HABs). As ocean temperatures rise, increases in HAB outbreaks are expected to worsen over the next few decades. In response, researchers, shellfish growers, and managers must begin to investigate adaptation strategies that can increase their resilience and their capacity to endure climate-driven changes in HAB events. Although the State of Alaska regularly tests commercial shellfisheries for toxins, they do not test recreational and subsistence shellfisheries. In October 2013—after two cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning in Sitka—regional tribal communities formed the Southeast Alaska Tribal Toxins (SEATT) partnership to combat the risks of HABs to subsistence shellfish harvesters. The SEATT partnership seeks to bring tribes in southeastern Alaska together to assess the beaches and shellfish that the state cannot test, increasing access to subsistence resources for tribal members. To date, 11 of the 17 Tribal Nations located in southeast Alaska have joined the partnership. Training and technical assistance for the SEATT partnership is provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Marine Biotoxin Programs in Seattle, Washington, and Charleston, South Carolina.

Categories: U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Climate Change, Food Safety, Human Health, Ocean Health, Assessment and Planning, Fisheries and Coastal Communities

Alaska (Southeast) 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.

Categories: Mitigation, Tribal

Alaska Link
An Integrated Plan for Water and Long-Term Ecological Resilience

The Yakima River Basin in the state of Washington supports a multi-billion dollar agriculture sector. The value of apples, cherries, and other food and natural resources harvested from across the basin make substantial contributions to the local, regional, and national economies. Additionally, the region has significant populations of salmon and steelhead trout. The fish are essential to tribal members' subsistence lifestyles and cultural traditions, and they support a thriving recreational fishing industry. Over a 15-year period in the recent past, the basin faced five years with drought conditions. The lack of water in each dry year had a strong negative impact on the region’s productivity and pointed out the risk that climate variability and change pose to the basin. Further, the Third National Climate Assessment and other studies indicate that the region can expect even more challenges as climate changes. Recognizing their vulnerability, representatives of the Yakama Nation, irrigation districts, environmental organizations, and federal, state, county, and city governments formed a work group in 2009 to design and implement a solution to the basin’s growing water problems. By 2011, the group released a basin-wide climate adaptation strategy designed to secure a future for fish, farms, and families across the basin. The Yakima Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan is a 30-year, $3.8 billion plan that restores ecological integrity to the region and provides assurances for meeting agricultural water needs even in the face of ongoing climate change. The plan is a collaborative effort to restore and protect ecosystems: it strategically and creatively addresses the realities of climate uncertainty and places the basin on a path to long-term resiliency.

Categories: U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Drought, Water, Fish Health, Adaptation, Restoration, Conservation, River Basin

Washington state Link
Assessing the Timing and Extent of Coastal Change in Western Alaska

Alaska’s western coast has seen substantial changes in recent years. During 2013, the Village of Shishmaref saw 60 feet of shoreline vanish in a single storm. Over a five-year period, storms also removed 30 feet of shoreline at an ancient Yup’ik village near Quinhagak, increasing the urgency of archaeologists and the community to protect this historic site. And recently, storm surges have flooded portions of the town of Golovin so frequently that residents made a decision to relocate some of their essential infrastructure to higher ground. These events illustrate the vulnerability of western Alaska’s coastal communities and cultural resources to rising seas and eroding coastlines. As the region warms—and sea ice and land-fast ice that once protected coastlines during extreme storms disappears—the impacts of coastal erosion will only increase. Issues of coastal change in the region fall within the purview of the Western Alaska Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC). The LCC is one of 22 regional efforts across the United States launched to better integrate science and management in addressing climate change and other landscape-scale issues. The Western Alaska LCC is governed by a partnership of 14 state, federal, and tribal organizations with input from academia, agencies, non-profit organizations, consulting firms, and traditional knowledge experts. In 2012, the Western Alaska LCC co-hosted a coastal hazards workshop with the Alaska Ocean Observing System and the Alaska Climate Science Center. At the workshop, a broad group of stakeholders identified their needs for information and tools that would help them understand and forecast how the coast is changing. To date, the LCC has sponsored or co-sponsored 17 projects to address recommendations offered by workshop participants.

Categories: U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Climate Change, Community Health, Social Equity, Coast Erosion, Relocation

Western Alaska 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.

Categories: Coastal, Sea Level Rise, Tribal

Gulf Coast, Southeast Link
California Heat Assessment Tool

California is facing a warmer climate over the next century. More frequent and severe heat events will pose considerable health risks that disproportionately impact frontline populations. This tool allows users to explore and understand how extreme heat will impact specific communities across the state. This tool was built for planners, policy-makers, public health practitioners and community members who are committed to mitigating the public health impacts of heat in their communities.

Categories: extreme heat, planning, mitigation, public health impacts, community health

California Link
Cascades to Coast Landscape Collaborative

Our efforts bring together a diverse group of natural and cultural resource partners (including tribes)  to create landscapes and ecosystems that represent commonly held community values, use the best available science and knowledge, with a goal for a connected, resilient region for years to come. CCLC offers habitat connectivity tools, spatial mapping tools, and partner assessments.

Categories: land management, spatial mapping, communication, conservation, networking, data, cascades, coasts, ecosystem services

Cascades, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington Link
Chemşhúun Pe'ícháachuqeli (When our Hearts are Happy); A Tribal Psychosocial Climate Resilience Framework

"Chemşhúun Pe'ícháachuqeli, Pala’s Tribal Psychosocial Climate Resilience Framework, is designed to help Pala and other communities consider how to safeguard mental and emotional wellbeing when preparing for the impacts of climate change. This report is part of Pala’s National Indian Health Board (NIHB) funded Climate Change Adaptation Plan, which incorporates health and wellbeing strategies." 

Categories: health, resilience, mental health, climate change impacts, framework, adaptation plan

Clearwater River Subbasin Climate Change Adaptation Plan

In an effort to prepare for changes to their homelands’ ecology, the Nez Perce Tribe’s Water Resources Division created a climate change adaptation plan for the Clearwater River Subbasin in 2011. The plan focuses on climate impacts to water and forestry resources, two areas of natural resource management that are both culturally and economically important to the Nez Perce Tribe. The adaptation plan includes an assessment of existing conditions in the subbasin, and data on how changes in climate may impact forests, waters, and the local economy. This profile highlights the efforts of the Nez Perce Tribe to increase awareness of climate change issues in their region through this plan, as well as their strategies for integrating adaptation into existing and future management plans. To download a PDF of the plan, click here.

Categories: Tribal, Adaptation Plan, Water Resources

Northwest Link
Climate Action Through Equity

"The City of Portland has long been a global leader in addressing climate change. In 1993, Portland became the first city in the United States to adopt a local plan to address climate change. Since then, while carbon emissions have increased nationally, Portland and Multnomah County have achieved significant declines in emissions. In 2014, total emissions were 21% below 1990 levels...Many African-American residents have moved to East Portland from N/NE Portland over the past 20 years and have not benefited from the green investments that have taken place in their former inner neighborhoods. To address this, the 2015 Climate Action Plan emphasizes investing in people as well as infrastructure. Connecting community members with job opportunities that result from actions in the plan and providing training opportunities for local youth can build wealth and avoid displacement in communities."

Categories: climate action, equity, planning, infrastructure, carbon emissions, mitigation

Portland, OR Link
Climate Adaptation for Pacific Northwest Forests

NNRG is a think-learn-and-do tank of ecological forestry. Operating primarily in western Washington and Oregon, they focus on forests owned and managed by private landowners, smaller forest product companies, governmental agencies, Indian tribes, and non-profit organizations. They aim to strengthen the ecological and economic vitality of Northwest forests and communities by connecting people with the knowledge, skills, and markets they need to steward their land. In Fall 2019 NNRG hosted three workshops on Climate Adaptation Strategies for Pacific Northwest Forests to help foresters and land managers make informed decisions about adapting their management practices to meet their goals and sustain forests into the future. View past recordings and presentations here. 

Categories: climate adaptation, Pacific Northwest, forest management

Pacific Northwest Link
Climate Change Adaptation Certification Tool

The Climate Change Adaptation Certification Tool was developed to support communities beyond planning—helping them implement their updated Comprehensive Plan. Using this 3-step CCAC tool for rapid implementation of climate savvy planning goals and policies will enable community services, infrastructure, ecosystems and economies to better anticipate and respond to the effects of climate change.

Categories: climate change, climate change impacts, adaptation, communities, planning, infrastructure

National Link
Climate Change and Black Carbon

These 2-page Fact Sheets focus on climate change impacts, adaptation strategies, and other relevant topics. They may be used in outreach with tribal government staff, leadership and communities.

Categories: Tribal Fact Sheet

National Link
Climate Change and Black Carbon: What it means for Alaska Native Villages and what you can do

These 2-page Fact Sheets focus on climate change impacts, adaptation strategies, and other relevant topics. They may be used in outreach with tribal government staff, leadership and communities.

Categories: Tribal Fact Sheet

Alaska Link
Climate Change and Drought

These 2-page Fact Sheets focus on climate change impacts, adaptation strategies, and other relevant topics. They may be used in outreach with tribal government staff, leadership and communities.

Categories: Tribal Fact Sheet

National Link
Climate Change and Fisheries--What it means to tribes and how we can adapt

Provides information regarding the effects of fishery health on the environment and tribes. Suggests plans for successful management of fish-related resources and realistic climate adaptation strategies.

Categories: fishery, water health, climate adaptation, resource management, fact sheet

United States Link
Climate Change and Forestry--What it means to tribes and how we can adapt

Provides information regarding forestry risks and crises for tribes, and suggests climate adaptation initiatives for tribal use.

Categories: parasites, invasive species, wildfire, precipitation, forest assessments, climate adaptation, fact sheet

United States Link
Climate Change and Human Health

These 2-page Fact Sheets focus on climate change impacts, adaptation strategies, and other relevant topics. They may be used in outreach with tribal government staff, leadership and communities.

Categories: Tribal Fact Sheet

National Link
Climate change and indigenous peoples: a synthesis of current impacts and experiences

A growing body of literature examines the vulnerability, risk, resilience, and adaptation of indigenous peoples to climate change. This synthesis of literature brings together research pertaining to the impacts of climate change on sovereignty, culture, health, and economies that are currently being experienced by Alaska Native and American Indian tribes and other indigenous communities in the United States. The knowledge and science of how climate change impacts are affecting indigenous peoples contributes to the development of policies, plans, and programs for adapting to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This report defines and describes the key frameworks that inform indigenous understandings of climate change impacts and pathways for adaptation and mitigation, namely, tribal sovereignty and self-determination, culture and cultural identity, and indigenous community health indicators. It also provides a comprehensive synthesis of climate knowledge, science, and strategies that indigenous communities are exploring, as well as an understanding of the gaps in research on these issues. This literature synthesis is intended to make a contribution to future efforts such as the 4th National Climate Assessment, while serving as a resource for future research, tribal and agency climate initiatives, and policy development.

Categories: climate change, adaptation, TEK, traditional knowledge, mitigation, sovereignty,

National Link
Climate Change and Invasive Species

These 2-page Fact Sheets focus on climate change impacts, adaptation strategies, and other relevant topics. They may be used in outreach with tribal government staff, leadership and communities.

Categories: Tribal Fact Sheet

National 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.

Categories: Coastal, Adaptation, Mitigation, Tribal

Northwest Link
Climate Change and Water Resources--What it means to tribes and how we can adapt

Provides detailed description of water health hazards and impacts on tribes. Suggests realistic plans to adapt to and mitigate changing water resources and water health.

Categories: climate adaptation. climate mitigation, water health, infrastructure, sea level, acidification, drought, flood, water access, fact sheet

United States Link
Climate Change and Wildfire Resources

These 2-page Fact Sheets focus on climate change impacts, adaptation strategies, and other relevant topics. They may be used in outreach with tribal government staff, leadership and communities.

Categories: Tribal Fact Sheet

National Link
Climate Change in the Northwest: Implications for our Landscapes, Waters and Communities

This report assesses the state of knowledge about key climate impacts and consequences to various sectors and communities in the Pacific Northwest. It draws on a wealth of peer-reviewed literature, earlier state-level assessment reports conducted for Washington (2009) and Oregon (2010), as well as a risk framing workshop. As an assessment, it summarizes the key climate change topics as reflected in the growing body of Northwest climate change science, impacts, and adaptation literature currently available.

Categories: Assessment, Northwest, Risk

Northwest Link
Climate Change Mitigation and Solid Waste: Reducing greenhouse gases through municipal solid waste management

These 2-page Fact Sheets focus on climate change impacts, adaptation strategies, and other relevant topics. They may be used in outreach with tribal government staff, leadership and communities.

Categories: Tribal Fact Sheet

National Link