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
National Congress of American Indians Resource Library

The NCAI Resource Library offers a wide array of searchable resources to support and inform tribal leaders and citizens, and to educate the general public and media. The Resource library is updated frequently, providing the latest and most relevant information on American Indian and Alaska Native policy matters.

policy, resolutions, consultation, resources, information National Link
Moving Forward Together: Building Tribal Resiliency and Partnerships

The four member tribes of the Upper Snake River Tribes (USRT) Foundation have already noticed shifts in species and habitats driven by increasing temperatures and changing precipitation patterns. Such changes have resulted in drying sagebrush steppe habitat, extended wildfire seasons, less winter precipitation falling as snow, earlier spring run-off, lower summer streamflows, higher water temperatures, reduced flow from springs/seeps, proliferation of invasive weeds, and decreasing productivity of rangeland—all of which have the potential to affect the tribes' respective cultures, spirituality, and lifeways. In 2016, the Foundation undertook a collaborative Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (CCVA), partnering with external groups Adaptation International, the University of Washington, and Oregon State University. The project evaluated the relative climate change vulnerability of some of the species, habitats, and resource issues that are important and valuable to USRT member tribes.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Ecosystems, Resource Management, Invasive Species, Food Production Idaho, Oregon, Nevada Link
Model Forest Policy Program

The MFPP is a national nonprofit organization that helps communities create climate adaptation plans that are ready for implementation. They offer climate adaptation webinars, plan development, and strategies for plan implementation.

forest management, climate adaptation, planning, implementation National 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
Mescalero Apache Tribe Adapts to a Warmer and Drier Climate

The Sacramento Mountains—home of the Mescalero Apache Tribe (MAT) in southern New Mexico—are experiencing a shift to a warmer and drier climate. Local meteorological records reveal that three of the area's worst 10 droughts and some of the highest temperatures ever recorded in the region all occurred since 2011. Trends show that the monsoon season is arriving later in the year, and the average duration and frequency of monsoon rains is decreasing. Additionally, the average duration and intensity of winter snowfall has decreased, reducing the Tribe's water supply and negatively impacting its Ski Apache ski resort. In the face of these environmental challenges, members of the tribe are looking for the best ways to keep their forests and waters healthy. They also have a new interest in growing healthy and sustainable foods for their community. MAT tribal government and managers are working with a range of federal, state, and local government agencies and academia to maintain forest health and resiliency.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Resource Management, Food Insecurity, Forest Health New Mexico Link
Lummi Intertidal Baseline Inventory

The Lummi Intertidal Baseline Inventory (LIBI) project was undertaken in order to document the baseline conditions present on Lummi Reservation tidelands. The intent of the project is to provide a pre-disaster ecological assessment that might be used to contrast with conditions following a catastrophic event, such as a large oil or chemical spill.

intertidal habitat, data, inventory, ecological assessment, biological resources Washington, Lummi Reservation Link
Looking to the Future on Alaska’s North Slope

Increasingly accessible resources in the Arctic region have caught the imagination of potential developers. For instance, exploration geologists believe the North Slope of Alaska and the seas around it hold some of the largest remaining deposits of oil, gas, and coal in the United States. Additionally, the region provides habitat for a diverse array of fish, wildlife, and plant resources. A range of individuals and companies are eager to build businesses based on the region’s rich resources. The region has also caught the attention of environmental stewards and groups that monitor climate conditions and impacts. As temperatures rise, melting permafrost endangers infrastructure and modifies landscapes, reduced sea ice necessitates new approaches for subsistence hunters, and increased coastal erosion reduces the expanse of safe, solid land along coasts. To balance conflicting goals of resource development and climate resilience, decision makers need solid scientific information and an informed vision of potential future conditions in the region. 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. To produce science-based guidance for development or energy resources in the region, NSSI took up the idea of developing detailed scenarios—plausible stories about how the future might unfold—to describe how resource development could occur and what monitoring efforts would be useful to help protect people and the environment as conditions change.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Biodiversity Conservation, Assessment and Planning, Monitoring, Resource Development, Permafrost Melt, Infrastructure Alaska, Arctic 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
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
Karuk Tribe: Integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge within Natural Resource Management

Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) plays a significant role in the Karuk Tribe’s approach to natural resource management, which is guided by a respect for the relationships between species, their habitats and the belief that fostering ecosystem resilience is critical to ensuring sustainability. In 2010, the Karuk Tribe released a draft Eco-Cultural Resources Management Plan to create a long-term adaptation strategy for the protection, enhancement and utilization of cultural and natural resources. The Eco-Cultural Resources Management Plan establishes a framework for considering a wide range of human and environmental stressors to the Karuk Tribe, including climate change. This profile explores the role of traditional ecological knowledge in the Karuk Tribe’s Eco-Cultural Resource Management Plan, the ways in which this unique approach may contribute to tribal efforts to address climate change, and the importance of the federal-tribal relationship in addressing climate change.

TEK, Adaptation, Tribal, Northwest Link
Kalispel Resident Fish Project-Habitat

The Kalispel Resident Fish Project-Habitat (NWPPC Program Measure 10.8B.14-16, 18 and 19) was designed to assess and determine the habitat conditions in Pend Oreille River tributaries that limit native bull trout and cutthroat trout populations. Based on the assessments, recommendations are made to enhance measures that will increase the quality and quantity of habitat for native salmonids. All enhancement measure sites are subjected to an intensive pre-assessment of habitat and fish populations. This data is then used to determine the most benefit to habitat conditions. Enhancement measures include riparian fencing, in-stream habaitat enhancement and bank stabilizaiton. Please view our annual reports on our reports page.

Habitat Restoration, assessment, river tributaries, bull trout, cutthroat trout, salmonids ‎Washington State Link
Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe-Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan

In order to promote climate resilience in their community, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe has developed a Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan. Drawing on an Environmental Protection Agency Indian General Assistance Program (IGAP) grant, and in collaboration with Adaptation International and Washington Sea Grant, the Tribe developed a plan that addresses sea level rise, ocean acidification, salmon health, natural disasters and shifts in species ranges. The plan drew on input from tribal leaders, elders and technical staff to ensure that tribal concerns were considered. The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe sees climate adaptation as a process, not an outcome; this plan is part of an ongoing effort by the Tribe to prepare for climate impacts on their community. Additional plan resources are available as listed below.

  • To download a PDF of the 2013 Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan, click here.
  • To download a PDF of the 2013 Climate Action Plan Key Area of Concern, click here.
  • To download a PDF of the 2013 Adaptation Plan Addendum: Two Additional Key Areas of Concern, click here.
  • To download a PDF of the 2013 Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan Appendices, click here.
Tribal, Adaptation Plan, Climate Change, Vulnerability Assessment Northwest Link
Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe Plans for Change on the Olympic Peninsula

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe resides on the northeastern portion of the Olympic Peninsula in northwestern Washington. The Tribe is made up of nearly 600 members, with close to 300 living in the area. Historically, the Jamestown S’Klallam have adapted to both climatic changes as well as radical cultural changes brought on by colonization. In more recent years, the Tribe has identified climate change as a major concern for their community. To better understand the challenges facing the Tribe, and to promote the continued resiliency of their community, the Tribe prepared a Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan. To develop the Plan, the Tribe worked with support from a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (IGAP) grant, and in partnership with Adaptation International, a climate change consulting firm, and Washington Sea Grant, a collaborative project between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Washington. The Plan focuses on identifying community adaptation priorities and concerns, and creating a course of action to address them.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Climate Change, Coastal Resilience, Sea Level Rise, Adaptation Washington state Link
ITEP: Southwest Tribal Climate Change Project

In August 2010, the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP), at Northern Arizona University, and the USDA Forest Service (USFS) Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) began collaborating on a project focused on tribal climate change issues in the Southwest. Goals of the project include identifying work being done by tribes in Arizona and New Mexico on climate change, assessing their climate change research and information needs, making tribes aware of resources and opportunities that might assist them in their work, and sharing research results of the project with tribes, the USFS and other agencies. This profile provides an overview of the various project activities.

Research, Collaboration, Tribal Southwest 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
Inupiaq Work to Preserve Food and Traditions on Alaska's North Slope

Nuiqsut is a traditional Inupiat community located in Alaska's North Slope region on the west bank of the Colville River, 18 miles south from the inlet to the Beaufort Sea. The North Slope of Alaska is well within the Arctic Circle—even during its short summers, the land there is mostly permafrost and ice. People, wildlife, and vegetation in the region have all adapted to live in the cold, mostly frozen environment. However, as temperatures warm across the region, the environment is changing rapidly, and a new Arctic is emerging. In addition to threats to native plants and wildlife, warming conditions can also cause traditional underground ice cellars to melt. These cellars are cut directly into the permafrost to store food. When the permafrost melts, the hard-won caribou, seal, and other meat stored in these cellars can rot and become unusable. Understanding conditions inside cellars and the factors that affect them is critical for determining adaptation options and for building the communities' resilience to the warming conditions. Engineers at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) have developed a conceptual design for an ice cellar featuring an energy-efficient, thermostat-controlled cooling system, a solar- and/or wind-energy power system, and structural supports and ventilation for allowing exchange of cellar and outside air.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Climate Change, Permafrost Melt, Food Insecurity, Community Health, Infrastructure Adaptation Alaska, Arctic Link
Intertribal Timber Council (ITC) Resources, Publications and Reports

The ITC maintains a webpage dedicated to publications, training information, resources and newsletters.

Timber, Natural Resource Management, Training National 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
Inter-tribal Council of Michigan, Inc: Climate Adaptation Page

ITCMI Environmental Services facilitates climate adaptation efforts to assess and plan for climate-driven change, with the goals of protecting and enhancing tribal natural and cultural resources and ways of life. For more information.

adaption plan, natural, cultural, resources, Midwest and Michigan Link
Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc. Collaborative Tribal Climate Adaptation Planning

Tribes in Michigan are currently experiencing the impacts of climate change: warmer average annual air and surface water temperatures, more volatile weather with extreme precipitation events, decreases in duration and extremity of winter temperatures, and increases in duration of summer temperatures. This document offers a snapshot of the results of a cooperative effort among the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc., and nice federally recognized tribes in Michigan.

adaptation plan, data, climate change, resources, Midwest, Michigan 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
Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Change

This profile features Northern California-based ecologist Dennis Martinez and his thoughts on the roles of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and western science. For the past 40 years, Martinez has worked to facilitate dialogue incorporating both approaches to understanding the natural world. He has also been working with the Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Assessment (IPCCA), which is empowering local communities to do their own climate change assessments.

TEK, Tribal National, Northwest, 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
Indigenous Masculinities in a Changing Climate: Vulnerability and Resilience in the United States

"Gender shapes Indigenous vulnerability and resilience due to the coupled social and ecological challenges of climate change in Indigenous communities in the United States (Maynard, 1998; Grossman and Parker, 2012; Bennett et al., 2014; Maldonado et al., 2014; Whyte, 2014). Despite its relevance, little research has analyzed the ways in which gender shapes climate change experiences. Even less research has focused on the impacts of climate change on Indigenous masculinity. With this backdrop, we foreground Indigenous men and masculinities with respect to climate change vulnerability and resilience."

Climate change, Indigenous peoples, feminism, gender, vulnerability, climate justice National Link
Imiq Data Portal

The word imiq means “freshwater” in the Inupiat language of Northern Alaska. The Imiq Data Portal provides a snapshot of available hydroclimate data: a map-based view shows where, what, and when data have been obtained. Users can submit a custom data query, specifying variable of interest, geographic bounds, and time step. Imiq will aggregate and export data records from multiple sources in a common format, with full metadata records that provide information about the source data.

language, hydroclimate, data records Northern Alaska Link
Identifying Resilient Headwater Streams to Mitigate Impacts of Future Drought in the Northwest

In order for land and resource managers to anticipate and prepare for future droughts, they need scientific information on water availability now and in the future at a landscape-scale and they need to know which headwater streams are particularly resilient to drought in order to place limited funds and resources into management of those streams. However, this scientific information is currently lacking and incomplete.

The objectives of this project are to: 1) develop a Headwaters Intermittency Prediction (HIP) tool that will provide managers with a prediction map of the expected permanence of water flows in streams; 2) utilize citizen-science techniques to gather steamflow data across the Northwest region; and 3) apply stream flow predictions to existing assessments of the vulnerability of aquatic species, such as the native bull trout, redband trout, and Lahontan cutthroat trout.

land management, drought preparedness, resiliency, stream management, water flows, Northwest, vulnerability assessments, aquatic species, troat Northwest Link
Guidelines for Considering Traditional Knowledges in Climate Change Initiatives

The Guidelines for Considering Traditional Knowledges (TKs) in Climate Change Initiatives are an informational resource for tribes, agencies, and organizations across the United States interested in understanding traditional knowledges in the context of climate change. The Third National Climate Assessment issued in May 2014 contained a chapter dedicated to the impact of climate change on tribal peoples. In light of the increasing recognition of the significance of traditional knowledges (TKs) in relation to climate change, a self-organized, informal group of indigenous persons, staff of indigenous governments and organizations, and experts with experience working with issues concerning traditional knowledges (The Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup – CTKW), felt compelled to develop a framework to increase understanding of issues relating to access and protection of TKs in climate initiatives and interactions between holders of TKs and non-tribal partners. These Guidelines are not intended to promote the exchange of Traditional Knowledges. Rather, they are to increase understanding of the role of and protections for TKs in climate initiatives, provide provisional guidance to those engaging in efforts that encompass TKs and increase mutually beneficial and ethical interactions between tribes and non-tribal partners. The Guidelines are a work in progress and intended to spur active deliberation and discussion for further development. For more information and a question/comment form, visit:
Download the Guidelines here: .

traditional knowledges, climate change initiatives, resource, informational framework National, Pacific Northwest 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
G-WOW Guiding for Tomorrow: Changing Climate, Changing Culture

The “Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban” (Guiding for Tomorrow) or “G-WOW” Initiative is a unique approach to increasing awareness of how climate change is affecting Lake Superior’s coastal environment, people, cultures, and economies. G-WOW integrates scientific climate change research with place-based evidence of how climate change is affecting traditional Ojibwe lifeways and people of all cultures. The Initiative brings native perspectives and involvement to addressing issues of climate change by directly engaging native communities, educators, and students, providing learners with knowledge about what they can do to mitigate or adapt to a changing climate.

climate change, awareness, cultures, economies, mitigation, adaption, students Lake Superior Link
Fort McDowell Yavapai: Harnessing solar power for energy independence and utilities savings:

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