American Indian and Alaska Native tribes have contributed little to the causes of climate change, and yet face disproportionate risks. Tribes have unique rights, cultures, and economies that are, or could be, vulnerable to climate change impacts. For indigenous peoples, the environmental impacts of climate change and some of the proposed solutions threaten ways of life, subsistence, lands rights, future growth, cultural survivability, and financial resources.
The Tribal Climate Change Project began as a collaborative project between the University of Oregon Environmental Studies Program and the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station. The Project is now funded by diverse partners, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative and the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station. The project focuses on understanding the impacts of climate change on Tribal sovereignty, culture and traditional knowledges.