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 descending Description Category Geography Website
Climate Change Planning Tools for First Nations -- Guidebook 1: Beginning the Planning Process

CIER has developed a series of climate planning guidebooks designed for First Nations. This guidebook, the first in the series, details how to begin a planning process.

Planning, Climate Adaptation International Link
Climate Change Planning Tools for First Nations -- Guidebook 2: Climate Change Impacts in the Community

CIER has developed a set of guidebooks designed for First Nations communities to aid in the development of climate planning documents. This is the second guidebook in that series.

Planning, Climate Adaptation International Link
Climate Change Planning Tools for First Nations -- Guidebook 3: Vulnerability and Community Sustainability

CIER has developed a set of guidebooks designed for First Nations communities to aid in the development of climate planning documents. This is the third guidebook in that series.

Climate adaptation, Planning International Link
Climate Change Planning Tools for First Nations -- Guidebook 4: Identifying Solutions

CIER has developed a set of guidebooks designed for First Nations communities to aid in the development of climate planning documents. This is the fourth guidebook in that series.

Planning, Climate Adaptation International Link
Climate Change Planning Tools for First Nations -- Guidebook 5: Taking Adaptive Action

CIER has developed a set of guidebooks designed for First Nations communities to aid in the development of climate planning documents. This is the fourth guidebook in that series.

Planning, Climate Adaptation International Link
Climate Change Planning Tools for First Nations -- Guidebook 6: Monitoring Progress and Change

CIER has developed a set of guidebooks designed for First Nations communities to aid in the development of climate planning documents. This is the second guidebook in that series.

Climate Adaptation, Planning International Link
Climate Change Vulnerability Index for Ecosystems and Habitats

The Index (“HCCVI”) is a framework for a series of measurements to determine how vulnerable a given natural community or habitat type might be to climate change. We use available data and expert knowledge in series analyses for climate change exposure (ecological stress caused by of climate change), and resilience (the ability to cope with ecological stress and avoid collapse). This framework and method serves as a habitat-based companion to the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index for species.

assessment, vulnerability, index, ecosystems, data, conservation Western United States Link
Climate Change: Realities of Relocation for Alaska Native Villages

As temperatures across the Arctic rise at twice the global average, the impacts of climate change in Alaska are already being felt (IPCC 2007). Alaska Natives are among the most impacted in this region, and, according to the Government Accountability Office in 2004, flooding and erosion affected 86% of Alaska Native villages to some extent, and by 2009, the GAO reported that flooding and erosion imminently threatened thirty-one villages. This profile examines the challenges of relocation and offers examples from three Alaska Native villages working to protect their people, culture and natural resources.

Relocation, Sea Level Rise, Erosion, Tribal Alaska Link
Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation

Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation (CMRA) integrates information from across the federal government to help people consider their local exposure to climate-related hazards. People working in community organizations or for local, Tribal, state, or Federal governments can use the site to help them develop equitable climate resilience plans to protect people, property, and infrastructure. The site also points users to Federal grant funds for climate resilience projects, including those available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

climate-related hazards, resource tool, climate resilience planning, drought, wildfire, flood National Link
Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability (CRAVE)

As more Tribal Nations complete climate adaptation plans, and begin more in-depth resource analysis, they can find existing vulnerability assessments by geographic area, assessment target, sponsoring agency, and other factors. Registered users can also enter basic information about a vulnerability assessment, enabling colleagues, partners, and others to learn and benefit from their work. Existing Tribal Nations contributions may be found in the Other Regions section of the location-based search.

vulnerability, assessment, adaption, climate change National Link
Climate Toolbox

A collection of web tools for visualizing past and projected climate and hydrology of the Pacific Northwest, USA​. To access the Northwest Climate Toolbox Workbook, which offers step by step guidance on how to use the toolbox, go to


climate change, climate change impacts, tools, decision making, planning, assessment, water management, agriculture, fire, climate monitoring Pacific Northwest Link
Climate-Smart Conservation: Putting Adaptation Principles into Practice

Natural resource managers and conservation professionals can use this guide to help them incorporate climate considerations into their program. DOI Climate Science Centers provide tribal versions of this climate adaptation planning course through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center. The Bureau of Indian Affairs Climate Change Program provides annual travel support grants to permit tribes to attend this and other climate trainings.

Bureau of Indian Affairs, BIA, adaptation, trainings National Link
Coastal Change Analyses for Western Alaska: Interactive Map

Covering the entire extent of the Western Alaska Landscape Conservation Cooperative’s area, this analyses provide important baseline information on the distribution and magnitude of landscape changes from erosion and aggradation (deposition) over 41 years. The maps document changes in the shape and extent of land, as well as in coastal features such as spits, barrier islands, estuaries, tidal guts, and lagoons. Western Alaska Native coastal communities may use this mapping tool to summarize changes for various parcels of land or assess the extent of habitat loss or gain over the study period.

coastal, landscapes, erosion, communities, aggradation, maps Alaska Link
College of Menominee Nation's Sustainable Development Institute Builds Capacity for Tribal Climate Change Adaptation

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 Wisconsin Link
Columbia River Intertribal Fishing Commission (CRITFC) Climate Change Program

this webpage provides information about CRITFC's ongoing efforts to address climate impacts. The site also features links to the Facing Climate Change video series.

Climate Planning Northwest Link
Community Master Plan and Program Development for the Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement

In January 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded Louisiana $48,379,249 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement. The grant was part of the state’s successful application to the National Disaster Resilience Competition.¹ With Resettlement funding in place, Louisiana can proceed with a structured and voluntary retreat from Isle de Jean Charles that is thoughtful and equitable, while maximizing opportunities for current and past island residents.

literature, hazard mitigation, community Louisiana Link
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes - Climate Change Strategic Plan

In response to growing concerns about the impacts of climate change on tribal members and on their homelands, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have developed a Climate Change Strategic Plan. The Tribes worked with several partners, including Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee, Kootenai Culture Committee, Next Seven Group LLC, the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC), the Kresge Foundation, and the Roundtable of the Crown Continent Adaptive Management Initiative, to develop a plan to inform the tribal policy and actions moving forward. This plan brings together the knowledge of elders with scientific observations to document existing impacts and prepare for future changes. The original 2013 Strategic Plan was updated in 2016. To download a PDF of the most recent version, click here.

Tribal, Adaptation Plan Northwest, Montana Link
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes: Applying the Values Taught by Our Ancestors

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) are made up of the Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d’Oreilles Tribes. Together, their aboriginal territories include over 20 million acres in western Montana, northern Idaho, and southern Canadian provinces. Today the reservation of the CSKT is just 1.3 million acres along the Flathead River in western Montana. The land currently supports a thriving community that has been recognized as a model of a self-sufficient sovereign nation. However, climate impacts threaten the diverse range of ecosystems on the reservation and throughout their homelands. For Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d’Oreilles peoples, these impacts have serious ramifications for their cultural, material, and spiritual well-being. Observed and expected changes that will impact the CSKT include increasing temperatures, lower summer stream flow, earlier and greater spring runoff, shifts in species ranges, increased likelihood of severe wildfires, and increased spread of invasive species. As the CSKT began recognizing the growing threats climate change represents to their traditions and livelihoods, they looked to their peoples’ knowledge and ability to overcome challenges. They drew heavily on the knowledge of tribal elders to ensure that Traditional Knowledges (TKs) would be integrated into their adaptation planning, and that cultural priorities would inform all aspects of their path forward. For example, elders’ observations about changes in plant availability and location are helping the CSKT prepare for future reductions in resource availability. Ultimately, the tribes integrated TKs with other research and analysis of community impacts to develop a comprehensive Climate Change Strategic Plan. The final plan they developed addresses climate impacts and vulnerabilities in nine categories of tribal life: forestry, land, fish, wildlife, water, air, infrastructure, people, and culture.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Climate Change, Assessment and Planning, Traditional Knowledge, Resource Management, Sovereignty western Montana Link
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians: Siletz Tribal Energy Program

The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, located on the Oregon coast, have created an innovative renewable energy program. The Siletz Tribal Planning Department created the Siletz Tribal Energy Program (STEP) through a grant from the Administration for Native Americans in 2009. STEP works within the tribal community to encourage efficient energy use and reduced energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Much of their work is focused on improving tribal buildings and homes. STEP prioritizes community involvement as a way to increase awareness of tribal members, promote skills-training in the tribal community and promote tribal independence in energy; tribal outreach is a major aspect of STEP’s work. This profile examines the ranges of their programs, including weatherization and energy efficiency, conservation, renewable power and solar.

Rewenable Energy, Mitigation, Tribal Northwest Link
Correlation and Climate Sensitivity of Human Health and Environmental Indicators in the Salish Sea

In 2012, the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative awarded over $300,000 to seven projects aimed at increasing the use of TEK in climate change adaptation and natural and cultural management. The Swinomish Tribe and Tsleil Waututh First Nation, two peoples of the Salish Sea, collaborated together on one of these projects. By bringing together data on environmental, cultural and human health impacts, the project partners are refining their understanding about what areas within their communities may be most sensitive to climate impacts. In doing so, the Swinomish Tribe and Tsleil Waututh First Nation are gaining a more complete understanding of how climate change may affect their communities. This innovative approach builds upon previous work done by the Swinomish Tribe and has potential as a model for other tribal communities aiming to better understand climate impacts to their people and homelands.
Puget Sound Partnership, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada scientists and land managers have identified a number of environmental indicators applicable throughout the Salish Sea to evaluate the status, or health, of the trans-boundary water body. Evaluating the current status of a set of environmental indicators is a first step toward ranking and prioritizing management and restoration actions in order to improve the health of the Salish Sea as an ecosystem. For this project, Swinomish and Tsleil-Waututh each selected a pair of environmental indicators, inventoried available data relating to those indicators, and created projections of the status of those indicators in relation to climate change. Criteria for indicator use included: 1) applicable to lands within reservation/reserve boundaries (site-specific rather than landscape scale (e.g. orcas or birds); 2) sufficient existing data supporting the indicator; and 3) indicators were culturally appropriate for the Swinomish and Tsleil-Waututh communities.

climate change, fisheries, shelfish, aquaculture, management, conservation, collaboration, international Canada, United States, British Columbia, Washington state, Puget Sound Link
Exploring the Role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Climate Change Initiatives

Indigenous populations are projected to face disproportionate impacts as a result of climate change in comparison to non-indigenous populations. For this reason, many American Indian and Alaska Native tribes are identifying and implementing culturally appropriate strategies to assess climate impacts and adapt to projected changes. Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), as the indigenous knowledge systems are collectively referred to as, has the potential to play a central role in both indigenous and non-indigenous climate change initiatives. The detection of environmental changes, the development of strategies to adapt to these changes, and the implementation of sustainable land-management principles are all important climate action items that can be informed by TEK. Although there is a significant body of literature on traditional knowledge, this synthesis examines literature that specifically explores the relationship between TEK and climate change. The synthesis describes the potential role of TEK in climate change assessment and adaptation efforts. It also identifies some of the challenges and benefits associated with merging TEK with Western science, and reviews the way in which federal policies and administrative practices facilitate or challenge the incorporation of TEK in climate change initiatives. The synthesis highlights examples of how tribes and others are including TEK into climate research, education, and resource planning and explores strategies to incorporate TEK into climate change policy, assessments, and adaptation efforts at national, regional, and local levels.

traditional knowledges, climate change, tribe, Indigenous United States Link
First Foods and Climate Change

Indigenous populations in North America face significant threats from climate change. One area of great concern is how first foods will be impacted by climate change. Because of the vital role that first foods play in the physical, mental and spiritual health of native communities, impacts from climate change on first foods may negatively affect tribal culture and livelihood. This profile explores the challenges that indigenous peoples face in maintaining their historically important relationships with first foods in the context of climate change. The profile also outlines the impacts that climate change may have on many first foods, describes challenges facing indigenous peoples in continuing their relationship with first foods, and explore ways in which they have adapted or responded to these challenges.

TEK, Tribal National Link
First Stewards Symposium: Coastal Peoples Address Climate Change

In July 2012, four coastal treaty tribes from Washington State, the Hoh, Makah, and Quileute Tribes and Quinault Indian Nation, hosted the First Stewards Symposium at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC in recognition of the rapid changes coastal tribes are experiencing from climate change and changes in marine ecosystems. The Symposium convened coastal people from across the United States and its territories to discuss the impacts of climate change and strategies for mitigation and adaptation. Tribal leaders, governmental and non-governmental agency representatives, academics, and non-profit indigenous advocates came together to demonstrate the impacts of climate change in regions throughout the U.S. and its territories and how indigenous adaptations to climate change can guide society moving forward. The Symposium emphasized strategies to promote actions in society-at-large to adapt to climate change and discussed the opportunity for native people to be leaders and provide models for other native and non-native communities. The First Stewards Symposium led to a resolution illustrating the impacts of climate change on traditional ways of life and culture and calling for the formal recognition and inclusion of indigenous communities in the formation of policies, management and other government action.

Adaptation, Mitigation, Organization, Tribal National, US States and Territories, International Link
Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, located in northeastern Minnesota, is striving to reduce its carbon footprint and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Sustainability, energy efficiency, and the development of renewable energy are key goals, and the Band aims to protect the reservation and its resources for the cultural, spiritual, and physical well-being of its people.

Mitigation, Renewable energy, Tribal Great Lakes, Northeast Link
Forest County Potawotami and Climate Change

Potawatomi tribes are looking to elders for guidance and wisdom regarding ecological stewardship. The tribe's deep, innate understanding that all things are connected has fueled everything from recycling initiatives to energy retrofitting and green building to reduce emissions and combat climate change. The next step is to achieve energy independence and tribal sovereignty for their tribe and others across the nation to really have an impact.

Traditional Knowledge, Green Energy, Mitigation, Tribal Northeast 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
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
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
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
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