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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
National Indian Health Board Resources

The categories on this page contain resources which may be relevant to Tribal Public health and climate change including NIHB resources, websites and general external resources, climate change reports, media, and external webinars.

climate change, public health, tribal health, community well-being, fact sheets, project resources National, Alaska Link
Navajo Nation: Dune Study Offers Clues to Climate Change

limate change coupled with inceasing drought conditions over the last 15 years has had aconsiderable effect on the Navajo Nation, including the reactiviation of sand dune migration and sand dune migration. The sand dunes offer tangible evidence of spiking drought conditions and a glimpse into the future of an unstable ecosystem and the effects on sheep herding and other familiar ways of life.

Drought, Research, Tribal Southwest, Four Corners Link
Navajo Nation: Hotter, Drier Climate Puts Sand Dunes on the Move

The Native Navajo people of the southwestern United States are facing an increasingly dry climate. In a region that receives an average of only six inches of precipitation per year, average warming of just two degrees Fahrenheit can significantly increase evaporation and loss of water through plants, reducing available moisture by a third. Alone, this drying process has the potential to fundamentally alter local ecosystems. When combined with a decrease in winter snowfall that feeds year-round streams, the impacts of drying can multiply. Roughly one-third of the Navajo Reservation is covered with sand dunes. In the already windy and increasingly arid environment, vegetation that can grow on dunes withers, and dunes can become mobile—obliterating everything in their path. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are now conducting research on the dunes. This work can provide critical data to the Native peoples of the region as they consider how they might respond. Some Navajo Nation communities are also working with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Northern Arizona University Environmental Education Outreach Program (EEOP) to provide education and to test methods to that may help stabilize sand dunes.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction, Water, Drought Arizona Link
NCAI Climate Action Resource Center (CARC)

NCAI developed this resource center to serve as an online hub where tribal leaders, natural resource managers, climate scientists, and other interested stakeholders can access the latest information, data, and other key resources on climate change, its particular impacts on Indian Country, and how tribal nations are taking action to combat it. This center is designed to serve as a growing resource that tribal nations can use to inform and guide strategic decision making in their crafting of self-governed approaches to climate action.

climate change, impacts, adaptation, tribes, climate scientists, decision making National Link
Nez Perce Tribe: Carbon Sequestration Program

In the mid to late 1990’s, the Nez Perce Forestry & Fire Management Division began developing a carbon offset strategy to market Carbon Sequestration Credits. This profile describes the tribe’s initial trial afforestation project, and their strategies for reinvesting revenue from the sale of carbon to invest in additional afforestation projects, wildlife rehabilitation and forest development.

Carbon Sequestration, Carbon Offset, Tribal Northwest Link
Northern Cheyenne Tribe: A Climate Showcase Community

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe of southeastern Montana takes climate change seriously and is doing something about it. The tribe has been progressing on a showcase demonstration project on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 metric tons CO2e annually through energy retrofits of the Tribal Environmental Protection Department (EPD) building. This project is supported by a $200,000, two-year grant provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 through its Climate Showcase Community Program.

Mitigation, Tribal Midwest, Plains Link
Norton Bay Inter-Tribal Watershed Council; The Artic: On the Front Lines of Climate Change

The Norton Bay Inter-Tribal Watershed Council (NBITWC) formed in 2012 after recognizing the need for Alaskan Native Villagers in the Arctic to come together todevelop community projects to address those critical infrastructure threats. The NBITWC is based in the Norton Bay area, at the southern end of Norton Sound onthe Seward Peninsula, and focuses their efforts on issues related to the Norton Bay watershed. Five federally recognized tribal governments are represented onthe NBITWC: the Native Villages of Elim, Unalakleet, Shaktoolik, Golovin, and Shismaref. Together, their voices are stronger than any individual Village’s could be.

tribal profile, resilience, action, climate adaptation, community, infrastructure, mitigation, risk assessment, BIA Tribal Resiliency Program Alaska Link
Oglala Lakota Nation: Oyate Omniciyé | Oglala Lakota Plan

A consortium of dedicated Oglala Lakota programs and organizations was awarded nearly a million dollars in the form of a HUD Sustainable Communities Planning Grant to pursue a path towards creating a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development for the Oglala Lakota Nation in South Dakota. The planning effort is being led by the non-profit Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation and includes numerous partners from within the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribe, as well as many non-governmental public and private partners. The Tribe also became the first official Tribal member of ICLEI USA–Local Governments for Sustainability. By joining, the Tribe made a voluntary pledge to mitigate climate change, seek adaptation measures, and promote sustainability. Ultimately, a Climate Action Plan for the Tribe will be developed and with the goal of inclusion in the overall Oyate Omniciyé | Oglala Lakota Plan.

Mitigation, Adaptation, Tribal Plains, Midwest Link
Our Future Climate in Samish Traditional Territory

Since time immemorial, Samish people have lived and prospered on the land and water of the Salish Sea in Washington State. Over time, Samish people have successfully navigated a variety of changes while maintaining a strong connection to the resources, rich lands, and waters of our region. While many of us may have moved away, we are still connected to this place and through it, to each other.

traditional ecological knowledge, cultural resources, climate change adaptation, sea level rise, stream temperatures, ocean acidification, Washington Link
Pacific Northwest Region Collaborative Directory

Collaboration is something the Pacific Northwest Region is deeply committed to and has engaged in for decades. It can provide agency staff opportunities to address local community priorities, build community capacity, leverage resources, and increase accomplishments and benefits across the board. There are 36 collaborative groups that work either exclusively or partially on national forest lands (see map pgs 6-7). All national forests in the Pacific Northwest Region are linked to at least one forest collaborative group.

collaboration, community, capacity, resource management, national forest lands Pacific Northwest Link
Pala Band of Mission Indians Sees Savings from Solar-Powered Fire Station, Looks Ahead to Continued Energy Development

The Pala Band of Mission Indians, like many tribes, has turned to renewable energy as a means of lowering energy costs and gaining independence from the grid. In the last three years, the Tribe has received funding support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs toward two separate renewable energy projects—the first of which is now complete, and providing significant benefits to the Tribe.

tribal profiles, Office of Indian Energy, solar power, renewable energy California Link
Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point: Climate Change Impacts and Strategies

Steve Crawford, director of the Passamaquoddy Tribes' Environmental Department and chair of the Natural Resources Committee of the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) cooperative, is working with local tribes to spread the word about climate change and addressing what tribes can do through adaptation and miitigation. Steve is working with Passamaquoddy Tribe on alternative energy and fuel sources, and feels immediate action is required to reverse the warming process.

Adaptation, Mitigation, Education, Energy, Tribal Northeast Link
Pueblo of Jemez: Leading the Way to a Renewable Future

The Pueblo of Jemez in New Mexico is engaged in several renewable energy projects, including developing a four-megawatt solar power plant, exploring the feasibility of developing its geothermal resources, and designing a biomass boiler for its visitor center that will use waste from forest thinning projects. The tribe is also providing education and training to its youth and community members about renewable energy.

Renewable energy, Education, Tribal Southwest Link
Pueblo of Tesuque: Water Scarcity and Fire Management in a Changing Environment

The Pueblo of Tesuque is located in the desert Southwest, approximately 10 miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The traditional Tesuque form of farming has long been hailed as a benchmark for sustainable agriculture in arid environments. Unfortunately, the climate change-induced decline in regional precipitation has made traditional farming more challenging for the Tesuque people. In addition to ongoing concerns about surface water volume and access, the Pueblo of Tesuque Environment Department has to contend with regional fire hazards, which are predicted to intensify with climate change. In light of these climate change-driven environmental concerns, the Pueblo of Tesuque Environment Department has turned its attention toward (1) watershed management and planning and (2) wildland restoration.

Drought, Management, Tribal Southwest Link
Quinault Indian Nation Plans for Village Relocation

The homelands of the Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) are located on the Pacific coast of Washington's Olympic Peninsula—the tribe's culture and economy depend on the bounty of the land, forests, rivers, and ocean. With its location on the Pacific Ocean, the risk and uncertainty of tsunami has been, and continues to be, ever-present. Today, though, the Quinault community faces a different type of threat to its daily life: impacts from climate change. With support from the community, QIN leadership made a difficult decision: they would begin planning to relocate the lower portion of Taholah to higher ground. With support from a Social and Economic Development Strategies (SEDS) grant from the Administration for Native Americans, efforts were initiated to develop a master plan by 2016.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Disaster Risk Reduction, Coastal, Relocation Washington state, Olympic Peninsula Link
Regional Resilience Toolkit; 5 Steps to Build Large-Scale Resilience to Natural Disasters

The Regional Resilience Toolkit focuses on the regional scale because disasters happen at a regional scale, and a coordinated process across multiple jurisdictions can result in safer communities. The toolkit is set up to allow multiple jurisdictions and levels of government to work together for regional-scale actions. It is also designed for non-governmental partners and community groups to engage in a more inclusive and holistic process so that resilience actions are guided by core community values.

emergency preparedness, natural disasters, resilience, toolkit National Link
Relocating Kivalina

Temperatures in the Arctic are rising at more than twice the rate of the global average. Results include violent ocean storms, flooding, and erosion beneath the homes of Kivalina—impacts that have been traumatic to the barrier island's Alaskan Iñupiaq community. Sea ice that once protected the island from winter storms no longer forms early enough in the fall to prevent rising waters and storm surge from reaching the island's shores. Patchy sea ice also makes winter travel and hunting difficult and dangerous. Residents and others are making concerted efforts to move the community to safety.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Permafrost Melt, Infrastructure Damage, Community Health, Relocation Alaska. Arctic Link