The Tohono O'odham: Desert People in a Changing Environment

Type: 
Tribal Profiles
Organization: 
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
Description: 

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.

Category: 
Drought, Water insecurity, Rising Temperatures, Community Health, Adaptation