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In previous climate trainings conducted for tribes and pueblos in Oklahoma and New Mexico, impacts to water resources have emerged as a priority concern. Building on the success of past South Central CSC trainings such as Climate 101, this project will provide opportunities for water managers from 20 tribes to exchange knowledge in a series of workshops. These workshops, some virtual and some face-to-face, will allow water management professionals to discuss emerging issues with climate scientists, cultivate a community of practice, and increase their capacity for successful climate adaptation. Through the workshops, water resource professionals will collaborate to understand the latest developments in climate...
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The Columbia River Basin and the plants and animals it supports have been central to tribal culture and economy in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, and British Columbia) for thousands of years. Climate change is expected to significantly alter the ecology of the Columbia River Basin, and tribal communities will be especially sensitive to these changes, including possible loss of culturally and economically significant foods such as salmon, deer, root plants, and berries. The purpose of this project was to assess the capacity of tribal communities and organizations in the Columbia River Basin to prepare for and respond to climate change. Researchers surveyed 15 tribes and three...
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Native Americans throughout the Southwest are vulnerable to climate change due to intimate relationships with the environments and landscapes upon which their cultures, traditions, and livelihoods depend. The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (PLPT) in Nevada is profoundly connected physically, culturally, and spiritually to Pyramid Lake, the endangered cui-­ui fish, and the threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout. While the tribe has adapted to non-­climatic stressors over the past century, climate change impacts to water resources pose a threat to the ecosystems and species of fish so deeply important to the PLPT. Our previous research indicates that PLPT is an exemplary leader in adaptive planning, given that tribal members...
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The Klamath Basin in Oregon and California is home to a rich abundance of natural and cultural resources, many of which are vulnerable to present and future climate change. Climate change also threatens traditional ways of life for tribal communities, who have deep connections to the region. This project sought to increase the effectiveness of regional climate change adaptation and planning by (1) developing ways to integrate traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) with western science in decision making, (2) building partnerships between tribal, academic, and government institutions, and (3) increasing future capacity to respond to climate change by engaging tribal youth. Through this project, the Quartz Valley...
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Tribes in the Pacific Northwest rely on plants for food, medicine, and material for culturally important items (e.g., baskets, cages and traps, ceremonial items, tools, and musical instruments). Elders and wisdomkeepers from tribes of the Point No Point Treaty Council have expressed deep concerns about the potential effects of climate change on plant species of key cultural significance, particularly those located in tribal gathering areas on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington. This project was a direct response to tribal concerns about the loss of culturally significant plants from tribal gathering areas. Researchers conducted interviews with elders from the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe to identify eight plants...
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The 2019 Tribal Climate Camp, hosted by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, took place June 16-21, 2019 at the Flathead Lake Biological Station in Polson, Montana. The Tribal Climate Camp was designed to support teams of tribal leaders, climate change coordinators, planners and program managers to build skills, gather information and develop tribal policy needed to address climate change impacts. This week-long program helped build individual and team capacity to lead and manage for climate change and adaptation across departments within a tribe, and between tribes and partner agencies and organizations. Participants included tribal climate change staff, policy leaders, Tribal Council, natural resource...
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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...
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Building on a strong tradition of collaboration, the College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute (CMN SDI) coordinated a second offering of its Shifting Seasons Summit to bring scientists, practitioners, indigenous people, and students together around the issue of climate change. The summit was developed to specifically unite Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC) researchers with American Indian/indigenous practitioners and scientists to better communicate the resources available through the NE CSC, to build awareness of the overall mission of the CSC network, and to provide participants an opportunity to network and learn more about tribal cultural, social, environmental, and economic issues...
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Preparing for and responding to the impacts of climate change are critical to the wellbeing of tribal communities that rely on natural resources to sustain their families, communities, traditional ways of life, and cultural identities. Recognizing this, efforts across the country are underway to support and enhance the capacity of tribes to prepare for climate change risks. However, due to staffing, technical, and financial limitations, many tribes continue to experience difficulty initiating and completing the critical first step of the climate adaptation planning process: a “climate change vulnerability assessment”, i.e., a structured assessment of the specific potential impacts of climate change that the tribe...
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Thousands of plant and animal species are culturally important to the Indigenous peoples of North America. Global change is leading to major shifts in the abundance, distribution, and life history of these species, with concomitant effects on their value to the peoples for whom they are most culturally important. While a number of studies have begun to explore the futures of culturally significant species, these studies typically do so in isolation, focusing on individual plant species and single future scenarios, and involve little engagement with the people for whom such species are most important. This project seeks to fill this gap by examining the future of culturally important species as climate conditions...
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The Wind River Indian Reservation in west-central Wyoming is home to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes, who reside near and depend on water from the streams that feed into the Wind River. In recent years, however, the region has experienced frequent severe droughts, which have impacted tribal livelihoods and cultural activities. Scientists with the North Central Climate Science Center at Colorado State University, the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and several other university and agency partners are working closely with tribal water managers to assess how drought affects the reservation, integrating social, ecological, and hydro-climatological sciences...
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The Yurok Ancestral Territory, which spans northwestern California from the coastal redwood-spruce rainforest to inland forests and prairies, has provided the Yurok Tribe with an abundance of food and cultural resources for millennia. The Yurok Tribe maintains stewardship responsibility for their Ancestral Lands, which include the Yurok Reservation, and is concerned about the potential impacts of climate change on culturally significant species and the ecosystems that support them. This project had two broad objectives: The first was to meet the needs of the Yurok Tribe in collecting traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) to identify priority areas and activities for helping the Tribe plan for and respond to climate...
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Tribal communities have spiritually rich and complex connections with the natural environment, and their traditions, identities, and economies rely heavily on local natural resources. Because of this intimate connection with nature, tribes are especially vulnerable to climate changes that disrupt their surroundings. Surprisingly, however, few studies have delved deeply into Native thinking around climate change and its cultural impacts. This project sought to understand the ways in which Native American culture and cultural practices in the northwestern U.S. have been affected by climate change. Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with tribal elders and cultural experts belonging to three Northwest tribes...
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Climate change is poised to alter natural systems, the frequency of extreme weather, and human health and livelihoods. In order to effectively prepare for and respond to these challenges in the north-central region of the U.S., people must have the knowledge and tools to develop plans and adaptation strategies. This project was a continuation of an effort begun in 2013 to build stakeholders’ capacity to respond to climate change in the north-central U.S. During the course of this project, researchers focused on two major activities: Tribal Capacity Building: Researchers provided tribal colleges and universities with mini-grants to develop student projects to document climate-related changes in weather and culturally...
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Native American tribes are interested in managing their homelands for future generations, using both Indigenous and western science to make decisions in culturally appropriate ways. In particular, there is interest in strategic grazing management as a natural climate solution to strengthen the resilience of grasslands to a changing climate. This includes the restoration of free-ranging bison as well as the management of cattle (and domestic bison) in ways that approximate wild bison grazing behavior, to capture similar ecological and climate change benefits. Despite the growing interest in grazing management as a tool for grassland resilience and soil health, there has not been a systematic synthesis that directly...
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Fisheries in the glacial lakes region of the upper Midwest are culturally, economically, and recreationally beneficial. Walleye, for instance, represent an important subsistence food source for some Wisconsin tribal nations and are also popular among recreational anglers. However, predicted ecological changes to these aquatic communities, such as an increase in invasive fish species, a decrease in walleye and other native fishes, and worsening water quality due to increases in temperature and shifts in precipitation, has prompted concern among regional anglers who may abandon certain fisheries as these changes occur. Understanding how changes in climate may affect glacial lakes region fishes, and how fishery managers...
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For centuries, tribal and indigenous communities have relied on natural resources to sustain their families, communities, traditional ways of life, and cultural identities. This relationship with both land and water ecosystems makes indigenous people and cultures particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In 2015, the Southwest Climate Science Center partnered with the University of Arizona Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions (CCASS) to develop regional capacity for engagement with tribes to support climate change adaptation. CCASS is now building on the success of the 2015 project and is strengthening partnerships to support the climate adaptation capacity of tribes in the Southwest....
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Maple syrup is produced from the sap of sugar maple trees collected in the late winter and early spring. Native American tribes have collected and boiled down sap for centuries, and the tapping of maple trees is a cultural touchstone for many people in the Northeast and Midwest. Overall demand for maple syrup has been rapidly rising as more people appreciate this natural sweetener. Yet because the tapping season is dependent on weather conditions, there is concern about the sustainability of maple sugaring as the region’s climate changes. The distribution of sugar maple could move north into Canada and the sap flow season may become shorter in the future. Not only could these changes affect producers and consumers...
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Tribal communities’ traditions, identities, and economies rely heavily on local natural resources, making tribes especially vulnerable to climate change impacts, including changes in seasonal patterns and the potential loss of culturally and economically important species. The goal of this project was to build tribal capacity in the Pacific Northwest to successfully plan for and adapt to the effects of climate change. The funds associated with this project supported the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) Tribal Leaders Summit on Climate Change held on March 10-11, 2015 in Portland, Oregon. The summit gathered tribal leaders to discuss climate change impacts; share tribal strategies, plans, and policies;...
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Climate change is poised to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events – such as tornadoes, flooding, drought, and snowstorms – which may damage buildings and other structures, cause economic hardship, disrupt plant and wildlife communities, and endanger people’s physical and emotional health. The purpose of this project was to enhance the knowledge of local tribal environmental professionals in Oklahoma related to planning for extreme weather events as a result of climate change. Researchers hosted a one-day workshop at the University of Oklahoma (OU) that was attended by professionals representing at least five tribes, as well as interdisciplinary scholars and students engaged in climate...


map background search result map search result map Using Yurok Traditional Ecological Knowledge to Set Climate Change Priorities Vulnerability of Culturally Significant Plants on the Olympic Peninsula Building Collaboration in the Klamath Basin Through Tribal Youth Internships Building Tribal Engagement Through the Shifting Seasons Summit Assessing the Cultural Effects of Climate Change on Northwest Tribes Assessing the Capacity of Columbia River Basin Tribes to Address Climate Change Identifying Tribal Vulnerabilities and Supporting Planning for Extreme Weather Events The Wind River Indian Reservation’s Vulnerability to the Impacts of Drought and the Development of Decision Tools to Support Drought Preparedness Supporting Cooperation Between Tribes and Climate Scientists in the Northeast Region Climate Effects on the Culture and Ecology of Sugar Maple Continued Capacity Building in the North-Central U.S.: Tribal Engagement and PhenoCam Analysis Support for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Tribal Leaders Summit on Climate Change Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Traditional Knowledge and Climate Change Adaptation Continued Partnerships to Increase Capacity for Tribal Natural Resource Adaptation Planning Building Tribal Capacity to Assess Vulnerability to Climate Change Cultivating a Climate Science Learning Community Amongst Tribal Water Managers Developing Adaptation Strategies for Recreational and Tribal Fisheries in the Upper Midwest The Future of Culturally Important Species in North America Support for the 2019 Tribal Climate Camp Promoting Climate Resilience and Soil Health in Northern Rockies Grasslands Through Bison and Cattle Grazing Management: Weaving Together Indigenous and Western Science The Wind River Indian Reservation’s Vulnerability to the Impacts of Drought and the Development of Decision Tools to Support Drought Preparedness Vulnerability of Culturally Significant Plants on the Olympic Peninsula Building Collaboration in the Klamath Basin Through Tribal Youth Internships Identifying Tribal Vulnerabilities and Supporting Planning for Extreme Weather Events Support for the 2019 Tribal Climate Camp Promoting Climate Resilience and Soil Health in Northern Rockies Grasslands Through Bison and Cattle Grazing Management: Weaving Together Indigenous and Western Science Cultivating a Climate Science Learning Community Amongst Tribal Water Managers Support for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Tribal Leaders Summit on Climate Change Assessing the Capacity of Columbia River Basin Tribes to Address Climate Change Developing Adaptation Strategies for Recreational and Tribal Fisheries in the Upper Midwest Assessing the Cultural Effects of Climate Change on Northwest Tribes Building Tribal Capacity to Assess Vulnerability to Climate Change Continued Partnerships to Increase Capacity for Tribal Natural Resource Adaptation Planning Continued Capacity Building in the North-Central U.S.: Tribal Engagement and PhenoCam Analysis Supporting Cooperation Between Tribes and Climate Scientists in the Northeast Region Climate Effects on the Culture and Ecology of Sugar Maple The Future of Culturally Important Species in North America