Climate Adaptation Science Centers

Native Communities

Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and other indigenous peoples and communities are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The CASCs are working with tribes and indigenous communities to better understand their specific vulnerabilities to climate change and to help them adapt to these impacts. Browse our projects below or use our project explorer to explore our science.

Project Explorer: Native Communities

Filter Total Items: 36
Date published: January 1, 2019
Status: Active

Support for the 2019 Tribal Climate Camp

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 is 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...

Date published: January 1, 2018
Status: Active

Science Needs Assessment to Support Management of Loko Iʻa (Hawaiian Fishpond) Resources and Practices Critical to the Native Hawaiian Community

Loko iʻa (Hawaiian fishponds) are an advanced, extensive form of aquaculture found nowhere else in the world. Loko iʻa practices are the result of over a thousand years of intergenerational knowledge, experimentation, and adaptation, and once produced over 2 million pounds of fish per year throughout the Hawaiian Islands. These fishponds provided a consistent and diverse supply of fish when...

Date published: January 1, 2018
Status: Active

Examining the Effects of Climate on American Indian Uses of Forests in Pacific Northwest and Northern California

Tribal nations in the Pacific Northwest have distinctive, long-standing relationships with their aboriginal lands and associated resources. These relationships are being disrupted by changing climate conditions. Most scientific information about changes in forests and other ecosystems have not been directed toward addressing the concerns of tribal communities. For example, they lack culturally...

Date published: January 1, 2018
Status: Active

Supporting Tribal Climate Adaptation in the Northern Rockies and Northern Plains Region

Tribes and tribal lands in the Northern Rockies/Northern Plains region are already experiencing the effects of climate change, and tribal managers are also already responding to and preparing for the impacts of those changes. However, these managers face many challenges and obstacles to either completing and/or implementing their adaptation plans. The overall goal of this project is to provide...

Date published: January 1, 2018
Status: Active

The Future of Culturally Important Species in North America

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...

Date published: January 1, 2017
Status: Active

Climate Impacts on the Locations and Availability of Traditional Food Sources from Native Northwestern Shrubs

Fruit-producing shrubs such as huckleberries, salal, and hazelnut are an important component of social history and traditional tribal diets in the Pacific Northwest. The fruits of these shrubs are also an important food source for foraging wildlife and pollinators, and serve as the basis for both non-tribal harvesting and small-scale commercial operations. Among land managers and tribes, there...

Date published: January 1, 2017
Status: Active

Cultivating a Climate Science Learning Community Amongst Tribal Water Managers

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...

Date published: January 1, 2016
Status: Active

Building Tribal Capacity to Assess Vulnerability to Climate Change

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...

Date published: January 1, 2016
Status: Active

Understanding the Effect of Climate Change on the Migration of Marshallese Islanders

As one of the lowest-lying island nation-states in the world, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is acutely vulnerable to sea-level rise, flooding, and the associated intrusion of saltwater into crucial freshwater supplies. Persistent drought is further affecting agricultural production in the RMI. Many Marshallese communities are already experiencing these changes and are migrating to...

Date published: January 1, 2016
Status: Active

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Traditional Knowledge and Climate Change Adaptation

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...

Date published: January 1, 2016
Status: Active

Continued Partnerships to Increase Capacity for Tribal Natural Resource Adaptation Planning

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...

Date published: January 1, 2015
Status: Active

Community Observations on Climate Change: Arctic Village, Fort Yukon, and Venetie, Alaska

For the Upper Yukon area of interior Alaska, climate change has become a daily fact of life, causing a wide range of impacts to the environment, and in some cases to community health. In 2015 the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center organized a series of assessments to better understand the impacts of climate change being observed in this...