Collaboration in Action: Using the Menominee Model of Sustainability to Assess, Plan, and Build Capacity for Tribal Communities to Address Climate Change in the Northeast Climate Science Center Region
This project seeks to implement the recommendations included in Science Theme 6: "Impacts of climate variability and change on cultural resources" of the NECASC Strategic Science Agenda as a baseline for future efforts in the Northeast region. Tribal 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. Fulfilling the Theme 6 recommendations of the NECSC Strategic Science Agenda, then, requires a project that respects the uniqueness and self-determination of Tribes in the Northeast region. This project will provide assessment for Tribes of strengths and vulnerabilities to climate change to better link NE CSC and other resources to address tribally identified issues.
The goals of this project are to support Tribal efforts to (A) create awareness about climate change impacts on Tribes in the Northeast region and (B) develop a set of working ideas about what capacities are needed for Tribes to adapt and to mitigate climate change impacts. The climate change impacts in (A) will range from threats to the continuance of Tribal cultural activities such as ceremonies to new challenges for Tribal mixed subsistence and commercial economies. The working ideas in (B) include both solutions that individual Tribes can pursue independently through the development of policies that primarily affect Tribal members and cooperative solutions that require Tribes to work with a range of national, regional and local governmental and nongovernmental partners. 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. This project will provide assessment for Tribes of strengths and vulnerabilities to climate change to better link NE CSC and other resources to address tribally identified issues.
We have recently been conducting tribal site visits. These specific results are being tracked and reported on under the "Supporting Tribal Relations" grant project, but we do have a few results we are looking at in this project: the tribal site visits have yielded a number of different activities, which range from the development of scenarios with the respective Tribes, to assisting with the development of climate education materials for community and K-12 initiatives. At this point of the project, the biggest issue we are looking at is how we begin to pull in other consortium members of NE CSC to not just learn about Tribes, but consider the development of partnerships and projects. The current base funded initatives were necessary to build towards that, but we are at a juncture where getting specific is the key.
Additionally, Project Director Caldwell is now participating in two advisory committee/boards, one for the Northern Arizona University's (NAU) Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) development of tribal leadership training, and the other with the new GLISA Advisory Board. These activities provide opportunities to learn more about Tribal needs around the country but also provide connections from the NE CSC work into these other initatives.