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September 21, 2023

Southwest CASC researchers outline how researchers can respectfully engage in reciprocal climate change research with Tribal Nations based on their participatory climate research with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

Respectful research relationships between Tribal Nations and research institutions are crucial for successful climate adaptation. Participatory research is one way to build these relationships as it allows both researchers and participants to direct research goals, methods, and data analysis for practical outcomes. A new Southwest CASC-funded publication titled “Community-engaged participatory climate research with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe,” lists three guidelines for participatory research: 

  1. Adhering to tribal research protocols and priorities 

  1. Producing practical, usable outcomes 

  1. Empathetic, respectful engagement with participants 

The researchers identified these goals largely through a two-day climate change workshop they coordinated with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (PLPT) Natural Resources Department in northern Nevada. The workshop provided a platform for PLPT staff and community members to voice their climate change concerns. Participants brainstormed, categorized, and prioritized their environmental concerns and management solutions to help guide research directions and community outreach materials. For example, participant input led researchers to create educational resources about the effects of climate change on water resources that affect other cultural resources and livelihoods.  

This study can offer insight to climate change researchers who wish to engage Tribal Nations, and to Tribal Nations considering climate change research partnerships. 

This work is supported by the Southwest CASC Project, "Pyramid Lake Pauite Tribe Traditional Knowledge and Climate Change Adaptation." 

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