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Supporting Cooperation Between Tribes and Climate Scientists in the Northeast Region

Supporting Cooperation between Tribes and Climate Science in the Northeast Region to Address Climate Change Impacts: A Northeast CSC Funding Opportunity 2015 Project
Principal Investigator
Christopher Caldwell

Dates

Start Date
2015-07-01
End Date
2018-05-23
Release Date
2015

Summary

All peoples have a right to make meaningful plans for their future. For many Tribes in the northeast region of the United States, trends in the environment such as shifting lake levels, patterns of precipitation and other seasonal cycles pose potential problems. This includes financial burdens on Tribal governments and stresses on Tribal cultural practices such as harvesting medicinal plants and food staples such as wild rice. Consistent with the U.S. federal trust responsibility to Tribes, the Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC) has key scientific resources for supporting Tribal adaptation planning in light of noted shifts in environmental trends. The primary activity of this project was for the College of Menominee Nation [...]

Child Items (4)

Contacts

Principal Investigator :
Christopher Caldwell
Funding Agency :
Northeast CSC
Cooperator/Partner :
Kyle Whyte, Marie Schaefer
CMS Group :
Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC) Program

Attached Files

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DayLake_WI_USFS_crop.jpg
“Day Lake, Wisconsin - Credit: USFS”
thumbnail 114.08 KB

Purpose

The goal of this project is to build connections between the Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC) and tribes in the Northeast, so tribal communities have access to the NE CSC’s scientific resources for adaptation planning and are aware of their options for meaningful decision making. Researchers from the College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute, in collaboration with Michigan State University, will facilitate partnership building between the NE CSC and six Northeast tribes. For each tribe, researchers will generate a set of future climate change scenarios identifying which climate change impacts are most relevant to the tribe and will propose appropriate solutions for adaptation. This information is intended to provide a foundation for motivating more extensive tribal adaptation planning, justifying future adaptation/mitigation projects, and enhancing collaboration between the NE CSC, tribes, and others. All peoples have a right to make meaningful plans for their future. For many Tribes in the northeast region of the United States, trends in the environment such as shifting lake levels, patterns of precipitation and other seasonal cycles pose potential problems. This includes financial burdens on Tribal governments and stresses on Tribal cultural practices such as harvesting medicinal plants and food staples such as wild rice. Consistent with the U.S. federal trust responsibility to Tribes, the Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC) has key scientific resources for supporting Tribal adaptation planning in light of noted shifts in environmental trends. The primary activity of this project will be for the College of Menominee Nation (CMN) Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), in collaboration with Michigan State University (MSU), to facilitate a relationship between 6 Tribes from across the Northeast Region that will produce, for each participating Tribe, a set of future climate change scenarios. The scenarios will serve both to identify climate change impacts unique to each participating Tribe and to propose solutions for adaptation and resiliency that are relevant for each scenario. The scenarios can be used as the basis for motivating more extensive Tribal adaptation plans, justifying future Tribal adaptation/mitigation projects, and creating the foundation for more sophisticated collaborations between Tribes, other parties and the Northeast Climate Science Center that harness robust risk analysis, decision tools and modeling. The scenarios, then, will serve as the basis for characterizing climate change vulnerabilities and the needed capacities to address them.

Project Extension

parts
typeTechnical Summary
valueTribal nations (Tribes) in the Northeast region face different challenges and opportunities regarding climate change impacts. Each Tribe is unique in terms of its cultural, economic, geographic, jurisdictional, social, and political situation. As sovereign governments exercising self-determination, Tribes will have greater capacity to adapt if they are able to determine how climate science research can serve their governance priorities. To help address this our project is designed to make use of the latest research and policy developments on Tribal climate change adaptation and mitigation stemming from a number of key efforts which include, but are not limited to, the development of: 2013 Special Issue of Climatic Change: “Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Impacts, Experiences and Actions”; Chapter 12 of 2014 National Climate Assessment: “Indigenous Peoples, Lands and Resources”; and “Manajiwin: Respecting Tribes, First Nations and Cultural Resources in Cooperative Landscape and Climate Change Decision Making,” Upper Midwest/Great Lakes LCC. These projects and initiatives have generated key insights about how Tribes can use their own sources of knowledge and climate science for addressing climate change issues. This project seeks to stand on the shoulders of the insights generated by these projects and initiatives. The primary activity of this project will be for SDI to facilitate a relationship between a set of Tribes in the Northeast and the NE CSC that will produce, for each participating Tribe, a set of future climate change scenarios. The scenarios will serve both to identify climate change impacts unique to each participating Tribe and to propose solutions for adaptation and mitigation that are relevant for each scenario. The scenarios can be used as the basis for motivating more extensive Tribal adaptation plans, justifying future Tribal adaptation/mitigation projects, and creating the foundation for more sophisticated collaborations between Tribes, other parties and the NE CSC that harness robust risk analysis, decision tools and strategic foresight methods. The scenarios, then, will serve as the basis for characterizing climate change impacts and solutions. SDI has already developed and piloted a method for facilitating relationships between Tribes and a climate science organization (GLISA) through the project, “Supporting Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Planning through Community Participatory Strategic Foresight Scenario Development” (funded by GLISA). The method involves first identifying a decision-making institution with each Tribe, such as a Natural Resources Department or Conservation Committee or Planning Agency. This institution then provides information on the geographic and jurisdictional boundaries that matter for understanding the climate change impacts relevant to the Tribe and the feasible solutions the Tribe could undertake. With this information, the climate science organization creates a localized climate change impacts profile that is tailored to the Tribe’s geographic and jurisdictional boundaries. The localized profile is next used to design a workshop in which a set of Tribal members, elected officials, employees and any other relevant parties convene to create a set of 3-5 scenarios the Tribe faces based on the localized profile. Before the workshop, SDI will work with the institutions over the course of several meetings to identify, map and structure the values (from treaty rights to the timing of ceremonies to subsistence hunting), climate change impacts and potential that should figure in the workshop. The particular Tribe will determine how to represent the values, impacts and capacities. This information is used to structure the conversation during the workshops. After the workshop, SDI drafts the scenarios for feedback from the participants, and eventually produces final scenarios for each Tribe. Key to this method is that each Tribe (A) designs, at the conceptual phase, the structure of the workshop, values and relevant impacts, (B) controls how its traditional knowledges are included and represented and (C) has the right to ownership of the scenarios. (A), (B) and (C) are at the cutting edge of how the risks of interactions between Tribes and climate science organizations are understood based on the projects and initiatives listed earlier. The method also ensures respect for Tribal self-determination since the decision-making institutions work to determine the role of climate science research in relation to its own governance. Project Outcomes 1. Report on Recommending the Role of the NE CSC in supporting Tribal scenario development. 2. Review of existing published literature that fulfills the recommendations in the Strategic Science Agenda. 3. Scenarios for each participating Tribe (Up to six total). 4. Article/report summarizing the lessons learned from the process of connecting Tribes to the NE CSC.
projectStatusCompleted

Budget Extension

annualBudgets
year2015
totalFunds149897.56
parts
typeAgreement Type
valueGrant
typeAgreement Number
valueG15AP00110
totalFunds149897.56

Day Lake, Wisconsin - Credit: USFS
Day Lake, Wisconsin - Credit: USFS

Map

Spatial Services

ScienceBase WMS

Communities

  • National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers
  • Northeast CASC

Associated Items

Tags

Provenance

rfpManager-1.126.1

Additional Information

Identifiers

Type Scheme Key
RegistrationUUID NCCWSC 3321ad4a-ea68-41ee-93f9-7d7fd58b7f4e
StampID NCCWSC NE14-CC0257

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