The White House recently released guidance for Federal departments and agencies on incorporating Indigenous Knowledge into federal research and decision making that included examples from CASC-supported research collaborations with Tribes on the Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu and cultural burning.
CASC Science Featured in White House Indigenous Knowledge Guidance Report
Recognizing the valuable contributions Indigenous Knowledge adds to the Federal Government’s understanding of the natural world, the White House Office of Science and Technology, along with the Council of Environmental Quality, released a guidance report in November 2022 to aid government agencies in incorporating Indigenous Knowledge into their research, policies, and decision-making. The report identifies practices for considering and applying Indigenous Knowledge in a manner that respects Tribal sovereignty and provides beneficial outcomes for Tribal and Indigenous communities. It also serves as a guide to growing and maintaining relationships with Tribal Nations and Indigenous Peoples necessary to including Indigenous Knowledge into planning efforts.
Among the examples included in the report to demonstrate mutually beneficial collaborations between Federal agencies and Tribal Nations and Indigenous Peoples are Northeast and Southwest CASC supported work. The Northeast CASC Tribal Liaison, Sara Smith was a co-author to the Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu which was created to be useful in bridging communication between non-tribal persons or organizations who are interested in indigenous approaches to climate adaptation while respecting and acknowledging the needs and values of tribal communities. Additionally, the report highlights a Southwest CASC-supported joint effort between the North Fork Mono Tribe in California and the Southwest CASC to improve the understanding of cultural burning as a climate adaptation strategy to increase the resilience of ecosystems that local communities depend on for economic and social well-being.
These partnerships between a federal agency and Tribal Nations and communities relied on cultivating a decision-making environment that promotes Indigenous-led climate adaptation, while strengthening relationships between individual Tribal citizens, the public, and state and federal agencies.