College of Menominee Nation's Sustainable Development Institute Builds Capacity for Tribal Climate Change Adaptation

Tribal Profiles
U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit

Climate change poses a threat to the traditional livelihoods and the sustainably managed forestlands of the Menominee Nation. However, climate change also presents an opportunity—a chance to apply indigenous knowledge to adapt and sustain native communities, and for the Menominee Nation to share its understandings with others seeking to address this global issue. The Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) at the College of Menominee Nation works with both tribes and non-tribal communities on issues related to sustainability. The Institute combines Western-style research methods with indigenous knowledge to develop a variety of research projects and outreach initiatives, with a focus on the inclusion and development of students—both from indigenous and other communities—to prepare the next generation of scientists and practitioners to become responsible community members. An indigenous-based theoretical model of sustainability was developed through a collaborative approach by tribal leaders, who were interested in expanding on the Menominee's experience in sustainable forestry; through this effort, the Sustainable Development Institute was founded at the College of Menominee Nation to apply the model. The SDI model illustrates six dimensions of community life that tribal leaders highlight as part of the Menominee story: (1) land and sovereignty; (2) natural environment; (3) institutions; (4) technology; (5) economics; and (6) human perception, activity, and behavior.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Climate Change, Forest Management, Assessment and Planning, Capacity Building, Indigenous Knowledge