What is Tribal Climate Action...
American Indian and Alaska Native communities face disproportionate climate impacts while contributing very little to the issue. Climate change threatens Tribal ways of life, cultural resources, cultural practices, land rights, and Tribal economies. Indigenous peoples’ histories and shared experience create distinct knowledge about climate change impacts and strategies for adaptation [Excerpt summarized from NCA4 Ch15 and PNW Tribal Climate Change Project].
Historic and present action…
Since colonization began, Indigenous people have been resisting unsustainable resource extraction and early anthropogenic climate change. Tribes across the United States are leading the way with innovative efforts to address climate change through adaptation and mitigation strategies [PNW Tribal Climate Change Project website].
A growing number of tribal governments and intertribal organizations are developing climate adaptation plans, with some in the early stages of implementation. Many Indigenous peoples support their own technical staff who study and manage broad sectoral programs and issues, which now include climate change adaptation planning and implementation. To this end, Indigenous peoples regularly collaborate with climate scientists and other professionals working in academic, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations, especially in the use of downscaled (local-scale) climate information and tools that have become more available in recent years [NCA4 Ch15].
The following resources are for the general public, Indigeous communities, federally recognized Tribes, and other organizations who are looking to learn more about this subject area or find resources to support ongoing Native climate adaptation and mitigation efforts.
OCAR 6 – Tribal Cultural Resources Chapter: The Sixth Oregon Climate Assessment was published in January 2023 by the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute. The Tribal Resilience to Climate Change chapter (pages 222-237) focuses on Tribal resources and adaptation efforts across the state.
Abundance (CTCLUSI): Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw story map was made to give voice to our stories and culture and enrich public school curriculum in Oregon.
Camas to Condors (Nez Perce): Healing relationships is a climate solution. This storymap provides insight into Whole-Systems Restoration for Resilience, Justice, and Cultural Survival of the Nez Perce people
Squaxin Island Sea Level Rise: This storymap highlights the history, present, and future of the Squaxin Island and the Tribe who calls the island home.
ATNI Climate Change: The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians offers regional Tribal news, events, and resources pertaining to climate impacts and adaptation.
Escaping social-ecological traps through tribal stewardship on national forest lands in the PNW: A 2018 publication reviewing historic and modern tribal land stewardship in the Northwest since colonization and the ways in which tribally focused restoration strategies can foster both tribal well-being and ecological sustainability.
How Tribes are Leading Efforts on Climate Change: A 2020 Yale Environment article looking at the ways in which west coast Tribes innovatively adapt to the changing climate.
ITEP Pacific Northwest: The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals strengthens tribal capacity and sovereignty in environmental and natural resource management through culturally relevant education, research, partnerships and policy-based services
NCA4 Northwest: Chapter 24 of the fourth National Climate Assessment reports on the impacts of climate change on Northwest Tribal and regional identity such as its natural resource economy and its cultural heritage.
PNW Tribes Acting on Climate Change: 2019 Bitterroot Magazine article discussing regional Tribal climate science, adaptation, and mitigation.
Tribal Climate Change Guide: Part of the Pacific Northwest Tribal Climate Change Project, this digital guide lists Tribal climate funding, regional adaptation plans, resources, publications, climate education, jobs, events, and more.
Tribal Climate Change Project: Home to regional Tribal climate assessments and adaptation plans, the PNW Tribal Climate Change Network, Tribal climate publications, and more
Tribal Climate Tools: A resource page created for tribes by the UW Climate Impacts Group to assess climate vulnerability, engage with the community on assessments, and access funding for adaptation plans.
For more resources, visit part 2!