New project works with tribes to build adaptive capacity

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Photo from GLISA

New grant awarded to NE CSC Consortium Insitution College of Menominee Nation through the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center (GLISA) to work with regional tribes in the Upper Great Lakes region in developing climate change adaptation planning scenarios. 

Synopsis: Climate change could weaken the connections between tribal traditional knowledge and the ecology of their homelands. Traditional knowledge is seen as an important contributor to climate adaptation planning for both American Indian communities and neighboring communities in the region. This project addresses the challenge of how specific tribes can adapt to climate change in ways that ensure the protection of tribal cultures and harness cultural resources, as well as integrate the best scientific resources about environmental change, address emerging social problems, and negotiate jurisdictional challenges unique to federally-recognized tribes.

The topic of this project concerns the challenge of how specific tribes can make plans for adapting to climate change in ways that ensure the protection of tribal cultures and harness cultural resources (like traditional ecological knowledge), integrate the best scientific resources about environmental change, address emerging social problems, and negotiate jurisdictional and other legal challenges unique to federally-recognized tribes. We refer to processes of “making plans” as processes of “foresight.” Our topic, then, concerns the challenges involved in establishing tribal foresight processes the meet the cultural, scientific, social, jurisdictional and legal goals just enumerated. Our project proposal explores two questions: 
 
           

(1) Can foresight processes be used to create viable climate adaptation scenarios that can help tribes build capacities in advance?
          
    

(2) Can foresight processes involving tribal leaders and natural resource staff in the agencies and departments of federally-recognized tribes garner sufficient community member involvement for building scenarios that reflect tribes’ cultures, social situations, knowledge needs and resources, and jurisdictional and legal complexities?
 


To explore these questions, our proposal will initiate community stakeholder engagement processes of foresight for 2-3 tribal communities who are part of the network of the Center for First Americans Forestlands, the lead boundary organization for this project.