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:

Several key resources released in 2018 include:

Titlesort ascending Description Category Geography Website
Yukon Delta Villages Document Baseline Environmental Data

The Yukon River drains a vast and diverse area of western Canada and Alaska. Where it approaches Alaska’s southwest coast on the Bering Sea, the great river spreads out and meanders across the Yukon Delta, a broad, flat region of wetlands and tundra underlain by permafrost. For thousands of years, Native Alaskans of Yup’ik and Cup’ik cultures have flourished in this unique region, sustained by hunting, fishing, and gathering the region’s diverse plant life. To help residents document past and current conditions across the delta—and use that information to anticipate and adapt to future changes—a group of scientists from government agencies and universities collaborated with community members from four indigenous communities. In the winter and spring of 2014, researchers and community members gathered observations in a project called Strategic Needs of Water on the Yukon (SNOWY).

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Community Resilience, Social Equity, Assessment and Planning Western Alaska Link

WindNinja is a computer program that computes spatially varying wind fields for wildland fire application. Wind is one of the most important environmental factors affecting wildland fire behavior. Complex terrain in fire-prone landscapes induces local changes in the near-surface wind that are not predicted well by either operational weather models or expert judgment. WindNinja was developed to help fire managers predict these winds.

weather, weather prediction, wildland fire, wildfire preparedness, wildland firefighters, mountainous terrain, fire-prone landscapes, fire management National, mountainous terrain Link
Western Water Applications Office (WWAO)

The mission of NASA’s Western Water Applications Office (WWAO) is to help solve important and pressing water-resource problems that the western United States faces today. To do this, WWAO equips water decision-makers with useful, accessible and sustained remote-sensing-based information.

remote-sensing, data collection, groundwater, drought, water management Western United States Link
Water Toolbox

Tribal Nations may take advantage of this Federal Support Toolbox to access a comprehensive “one-stop-shop” online water resources data portal. The site offers direct links to valuable data, state-of-the-art models, and tools for the U.S. and international water resources community to collaborate and share information.

toolbox, water, resources, models, collaborate, community National Link
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
USDA Programs and Resources to Assist with Adaptation to Climate Change

This table is a compilation of USDA programs and resources to assist Tribes with adaptation and mitigation of climate change. This resource have been reviewed and approved by the USDA Office of Tribal Relations. There are over 140 USDA program and resources that provide financial assistance, technical assistance, loans, insurance, or services to help Tribes adapt to climate change. Disclaimer: Details of programs and resources listed are from the 2014 Farm Bill and will be updated to reflect the 2018 Farm  Bill.

adaptation, mitigation, climate change, financial assistance, technical assistance, loans, insurance National Link
U.S. Forest Service Office of Tribal Relations

The U.S. Forest Service established the first Tribal Government Program Manager position in the Washington Office in 1988, responding to identified needs and Executive direction. Subsequently, in 2004, the Office of Tribal Relations was formed as a permanent staff within the State and Private Forestry Deputy Area, to facilitate consistency and effectiveness in Forest Service program delivery to Tribes, and to institutionalize long-term consultative and collaborative relationships with tribal governments through new policy and direction. The current Office of Tribal Relations staff consists of six employees who serve as the Headquarters component of the Forest Service’s Tribal Relations Program. Field staffs comprise the other part of the program, and include the Regional Program Managers, Tribal Liaisons at the Forest level, and individuals in each of the Agency’s mission areas.

facilitation, consultation, collaboration, policy, government to government relationship, communication, tribal trust rights National 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
Tulalip Tribes: Saving Their Sacred Salmon

Fisheries managers identified pollution from manure runoff at local dairy farms as a major cause of salmon mortality. Historically, many farmers held the view that tribal fishing rights imposed limits on their farms and increased operation costs. The Tulalip Tribes sought a mutually beneficial solution to resolve this conflict. Collaboration among the Sno/Sky Agricultural Alliance, Northwest Chinook Recovery, and Tulalip Energy Corporation eventually established Qualco Energy as a shared energy cooperative. The group arranged for area farmers to collect livestock manure and agricultural waste in tanks, keeping it out of the streams. The waste products are then fed into an anaerobic biodigester to generate methane gas. The clean-burning methane is sold to produce green energy, and the digester effluent is stored in lagoons and returned to the farmers for irrigating their fields. The salmon-friendly energy is then sold to the Snohomish County Public Utility District. In 2010, these groups collaborated to launch the Sustainable Lands Strategy (SLS) to build resilience through cooperative planning at the basin scale.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Fish Health, Water, Biodiversity Conservation, Energy Production Washington state Link
Tribes and the Exchange Network

This website serves as a platform for new and existing tribal Exchange Network (EN) users, as well as those interested in EN activities, to connect with one another and access relevant information and resources. The site includes basic information on the EN and the Tribal Governance Group (TGG), links to EN announcements, and tools and resources for website visitors. In addition, this website houses the Tribal Mentors Program - a networking tool designed to offer peer-to-peer mentoring to tribes participating in the Exchange Network.

data, technology, environmental data, network Link
Tribal-Focused Environmental Risk and Sustainability Tool (Tribal-FERST)

EPA Tribal-FERST helps tribes progressively evaluate concerns from data acquisition and assessment through environmental issues identification and prioritization. It also assists in exploring potential solutions and mapping results.

environment, issues, maps, solutions National Link
Tribal Vulnerability Assessment Resources (CIG)

Tribal nations have been actively engaged in efforts to understand climate risks to their natural and cultural resources, and what they can do to prepare. We have carefully selected a suite of resources that may be useful to tribes at each stage in the process of evaluating their vulnerability to climate change—from tribes just getting started to those well on their way.

tribal, vulnerability assessment, resources, planning, climate change Link
Tribal Soil Climate and Analysis Network (T-SCAN)

The NRCS operates a soil moisture and climate information network on Tribal lands. The Tribal Soil Climate Analysis Network (also known as Tribal SCAN) supports natural resource assessments and conservation activities through its network of automated climate monitoring and data collection sites. The network focuses on agricultural areas which are situated on Tribal lands in the United States.

climate data, soil data, natural resource management, agriculture, snow pack National Link
Tribal Profile: Native Youth Community Adaptation and Leadership Congress

Held at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia, the Congress is a week long interactive conference, attended by a diverse mix of Native American students. It is designed to reach out to emerging leaders in tribal nations and communities, and provide a setting where they can learn about climate change and other environmental issues, and how these issues affect them, their own communities, and neighboring communities.

Native American youth, community, adaptation, leadership, climate change, training National Link
Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC)

The Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC) is a tribal technical resource and program and policy development dialogue group, focused on pesticides issues and concerns. The TPPC assists tribes in building tribal pesticide programs, providing pesticide education and training, and researching, developing and presenting a broad range of tribal pesticide-related issues and concerns. It is the intent of the TPPC to focus on pesticides and be as inclusive as possible for all tribes and tribal organizations that have pesticide issues and concerns. The TPPC facilitates communications between tribes, tribal and intertribal organizations, tribal communities, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as other federal and state agencies on pesticides and pesticide-related issues.

pesticide management, policy, education, training, communication, EPA, health National Link
Tribal Green Building Toolkit

The Tribal Green Building Toolkit is an assessment tool, with tribal case studies, for identifying and prioritizing structures your community wants to build. It provides detailed information and code references on:

  • Land Use
  • Materials and Resource Conservation
  • Human Health: Radon, Mold and other Hazardous Pollutants
  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
  • Water Access, Management and Sanitation
  • Resilience and Adaptability
  • Code Implementation and Compliance
  • Updating, Adapting or Adopting Codes or Developing New Codes
green building, tribal homes, green infrastructure, energy efficiency, renewable energy, resilience, planning National 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
Tribal Climate Tool

This tool is designed to help tribes in the Pacific Northwest and Great Basin, U.S.A, understand how the climate is expected to change in places that they care about. It provides maps, graphs, tables and descriptions of projected changes.

Tribes, climate change, climate tool, maps, graphs, tables, projected changes Pacific Northwest, Great Basin Link
Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Resources

This resource page was created to provide Tribal Nations and Indigenous Communities with a comprehensive selection of climate change adaptation tools while considering traditional knowledges and the cultural significance of land, water, and other natural resources.

adaptation, land, water, natural resources, management, climate change, traditional knowledges Southeast, National Link
Tribal Climate Adaptation Guidebook

The Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, along with Adaptation International, created the Tribal Climate Adaptation Guidebook, which provides a framework for climate change adaptation planning in the context of existing tribal priorities. The Guidebook builds on the on-going climate-related work in tribal communities, directly considers the unique issues facing Indigenous communities, and identifies opportunities and guidance for incorporating Traditional Knowledges based on the Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup’s Guidelines for Considering Traditional Knowledges (TKs) in Climate Change Initiatives. The Tribal Climate Adaptation Guidebook is designed to be useful for tribes at any stage of adaptation planning and with varying degrees of funding and staff capacity. The Guidebook is designed so that tribes can work through any applicable section and skip sections that are not applicable. The development of the guidebook was overseen by a group of advisors who supported the writing staff by refining the goals and objectives for the Guidebook and by providing regular reviews throughout the development process. The project was funded by a grant from the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative and received supplemental funding from the Pacific Northwest Climate Impacts Research Consortium and the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute.

adaptation, planning, resource, climate change National, Northwest Link
The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe goes solar

"Nations, states and communities around the world are establishing rapid decarbonization goals, including Colorado, which declared a target of 90% carbon-free energy by 2050. With increased pressure for immediate, large-scale changes to energy infrastructure, international policies for expanding renewables have played a critical role in increasing solar technology’s accessibility and efficiency. By combining this evolving technology with local knowledge, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe is generating energy solutions rooted in its community."

renewable energy, carbon-free energy, decarbonization, energy efficiency, sovereignty, solar panels, infrastructure, local knowledge Colorado 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
The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Prepares for Climate Change Impacts

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Skagit River System Cooperative, are developing tools that assess future projections of sea level rise and wave impacts to nearshore habitats. Community members will take an active role in determining community health impacts based on the projections using the Indigenous Health Indicators (see link at right). The Swinomish community will use methods they piloted and tested in 2013 to (1) assess future impacts to shellfish, juvenile salmon rearing habitats, and other culturally important nearshore areas, and (2) evaluate community health implications based on the projected nearshore impacts. Results will guide decision making to mutually benefit ecosystem protection and restoration, coastal hazards mitigation, community health, and adaptation to climate change.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Coasts, Sea-level rise, Food Health, Community Health Washington state Link
The State of America's Forests: An Interactive Guide

Our forests have been shaped by people over millennia. This website tells a story of consumption and conservation, of conflict and collaboration. But most of all, it is a story of regrowth, renewal, and abundance. Through interactive maps and graphs, The State of America’s Forests helps you explore the many benefits forests provide, understand today’s challenges to this renewable resource, and learn about forest management and conservation.

data, forests, wildfires, benefits, threats National Link
The Salish Sea Campaign

Our Salish Sea Campaign is focused on the health of salmon, qwe ‘lhol mechen (orca), and the waters. The Salish Sea is our sacred sea, and it is our Xa Xalh Xechnging (sacred obligation) to help heal and revitalize it.

Salish Sea, orcas, salmon populations, environmental protection, water, protection, revitalization Salish Sea, Washington 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
The Lummi Nation: Pursuing Clean Renewable Energy

The Lummi Nation has launched a number of renewable energy projects to reduce its environmental impact and to contribute to its goal of energy self-sufficiency. These projects include conducting a wind energy development feasibility assessment, lighting a walking trail with solar LEDs, installing a geothermal heat pump system for a new administrative building, and developing a strategic energy plan to coordinate future efforts. This profile provides detailed information on the wind energy development feasibility assessment project and also examines the opportunities and motivation that inspired the Lummi Nation to explore the options for renewable energy on their tribal lands.

Renewable energy, Wind Energy, Tribal Northwest Link
The Karuk’s Innate Relationship with Fire: Adapting to Climate Change on the Klamath

Members of the Karuk Tribe in northern California maintain that the age-old tradition of prescribed burning holds the answer to climate adaptation planning in the Klamath River range. Fire is foundational to the Karuk Tribe, who live and manage 1.48 million acres of their aboriginal lands along the Klamath and Salmon Rivers in northern California. By removing accumlated fuels, fire makes room for new growth and change. This renewal helps ensure the quality of traditional foods and cultural materials and serves as a medium of cultural education. Ceremonies surrounding fire strengthen the Tribe's social networks and enhance its members' physical and mental health.

U.S. climate resilience toolkit, climate change, human health, tribal sovereignty, self-determination, adaptation, mitigation, management, prescribed burn, wildfire, prevention, technical. climate science, TEK, cultural resources, U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, California, Pacific Northwest Coast, Pacific Northwest, Northwest Link
The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Combine Mitigation with Capacity Building

Members of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa believe that it is the obligation of the community to preserve and protect cultural resources for seven generations into the future. Tribal leaders and staff have committed to reducing the Band’s contributions to the greenhouse gases that lead to warming through developing and promoting projects and policies that advance sustainability and energy efficiency. In 2007, the Fond du Lac Reservation Business Committee ratified the Kyoto Protocol, pledging to obtain 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2020.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Food Insecurity, Flooding, Energy Production Minnesota Link
The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe Undertakes Innovative Action to Reduce the Causes of Climate Change

The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe—a federally recognized Native American tribe in California—was one of 16 communities selected as a 2015–2016 Climate Action Champion by the Obama Administration for exceptional work in response to climate change. The Tribe began its strategic climate action planning in 2008 and has become a regional leader in greenhouse gas reductions and community resiliency measures. To date, the Tribe has reduced energy consumption from 2008 levels by 35 percent and has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2018, utilizing a range of approaches—including aggressive energy efficiency upgrades, developing on-site renewable energy (biomass, solar, fuel cells, grid battery storage), and switching to green fuels (electricity and biodiesel).

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Energy Production, Green Fuels, Sustainable Housing, Disaster Risk Reduction Northern California Link