Technical Report

Ch. 12: Indigenous Peoples, Lands, and Resources. Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment

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Abstract

Bennett, T. M. B., N. G. Maynard, P. Cochran, R. Gough, K. Lynn, J. Maldonado, G. Voggesser, S. Wotkyns, and K. Cozzetto, 2014: Ch. 12: Indigenous Peoples, Lands, and Resources. Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment, J. M. Melillo, Terese (T.C.) Richmond, and G. W. Yohe, Eds., U.S. Global Change Research Program, 297- 317.

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... Another form is to focus on how climate change uniquely affects Indigenous communities (e.g., Bennett et al. 2014). For example, Field et al. (2014) note that one risk connected with sea-level rise is "Loss of common-pool resources, sense of place, and identity, especially among Indigenous populations in rural coastal zones." ...
... For example, Field et al. (2014) note that one risk connected with sea-level rise is "Loss of common-pool resources, sense of place, and identity, especially among Indigenous populations in rural coastal zones." In the USA at least, recognition that Indigenous peoples face special challenges connected to climate change has led to some dedicated research and engagement resources directed toward Indigenous communities and nations from governments, non-governmental organizations, universities, and the media (Bennett et al. 2014;Wotkyns 2013). A third alternative (that may include one or both models above) is research conducted by Indigenous scholars and scientists themselves (formally or informally), either through university and government research institutions, or as community-driven knowledge production. ...
... However, while these two primary sets of knowledge (mainstream and Indigenous) can and do inform one another, their epistemological differences are significant and deserve examination. Indigenous peoples often interpret the nature and significance of climate change differently from non-Indigenous scientists (Bennett et al. 2014;Chief et al. 2014;Maldonado et al. 2013;Vinyeta et al. 2015;Willox et al. 2011). These differences may significantly affect the production of science, and the relationships among non-Indigenous scientists, Indigenous scientists, and communities experiencing change (Williams and Hardison 2013). ...
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Introduction: Western climate science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) represent complementary and overlapping views of the causes and consequences of change. In particular, observations of changes in abundance, distribution, phenology, or behavior of the natural environment (including plants and animals) can have a rich cultural and spiritual interpretation in Indigenous communities that may not be present in western science epistemologies. Results: Using interviews with Indigenous elders and other Traditional Knowledge holders, we demonstrate that assumptions about the nature, perception, and utilization of time and timing can differ across knowledge systems in regard to climate change. Conclusions: Our interviewees’ focus on relationality predisposes them to notice interactional changes among humans and other species, to be sensitive to smaller scale examples of change, to be more likely to see climate change as part of a broader time scale, and to link changes to a greater suite of socio-political phenomena, including the long arc of colonialism. One implication of this research and the interactions among humans and other species is that policies restricting Native and non-Native access to resources (i.e., hunting and fishing) to certain calendar seasons may need to be revisited in a changing climate.
... Projected changes in climate and ecosystems will have strong impacts on these activities. 39 The Great Lakes play a central role in the Midwest and provide an abundant freshwater resource for water supplies, industry, shipping, fishing, and recreation, as well as a rich and diverse ecosystem. The same can be said for the upper Mississippi, lower Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio River systems. ...
... Tribes and Indigenous communities in the Midwest have been among the first to feel the effects of climate change as it impacts their culture, sovereignty, health, economies, and ways of life. 39 The Midwest contains ceded territory-large swaths of land in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan in which O jibwe tribes reserved hunting, fishing, and gathering Fourth National Climate Assessment U.S. Global Change Research Program rights in treaties with the United States government. 88 Climate change presents challenges to the O jibwe tribes in co-managing these resources with other land managers; as the climate changes, various species utilized by tribes are declining and may shift entirely outside of treaty boundaries and reserved lands. ...
... 309,310 Climate change thus poses a threat to tribal culture, sovereignty, health, and way of life. 39 Gray literature, 293 survey reports, 32 and scientific literature 292 point to a few initiatives to integrate adaptation into municipal planning processes and utilize participatory methodologies to evaluate and manage climate risk. ...
... As stated in Bennett et al. (2014), the impacts of climate change on tribal lands and resources, such as accelerated sea level rise, erosion, permafrost thaw, and increased intensity of weather events, are resulting in current and potential future relocation of indigenous communities in Alaska, Louisiana, the Pacific Islands, and other coastal locations. These relocations are already causing a loss of community and culture, health impacts, and economic decline. ...
... These relocations are already causing a loss of community and culture, health impacts, and economic decline. At present, no lead agency is responsible for assessing, tracking, or assisting Native coastal communities needing to relocate as a result of climate change-related impacts (Bennett et al. 2014). Making this a high-priority research need would provide base information to focus attention on this escalating impact. ...
... issue is raised as a key message in the Third National Climate Assessment's chapter on indigenous peoples, land, and resources (Bennett et al. 2014). However, we are not aware of a U.S. or international effort in which this was used as an indicator. ...
Technical Report
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The Third National Climate Assessment (NCA) process for the United States focused in part on developing a system of indicators to communicate key aspects of the physical climate, climate impacts, vulnerabilities, and preparedness to inform decisionmakers and the public. Initially, 13 active teams were formed to recommend indicators in a range of categories, including forest, agriculture, grassland, phenology, mitigation, and physical climate. This publication describes the work of the Forest Indicators Technical Team. We briefly describe the NCA indicator system effort, propose and explain our conceptual model for the forest system, present our methods, and discuss our recommendations. Climate is only one driver of changes in U.S. forests; other drivers include socioeconomic drivers such as population and culture, and other environmental drivers such as nutrients, light, and disturbance. We offer additional details of our work for transparency and to inform an NCA indicator Web portal. We recommend metrics for 11 indicators of climate impacts on forest, spanning the range of important aspects of forest as an ecological type and as a sector. Some indicators can be reported in a Web portal now; others need additional work for reporting in the near future. Indicators such as budburst, which are important to forest but more relevant to other NCA indicator teams, are identified. Potential indicators that need more research are also presented.
... Indigenous peoples are disproportionately threatened by a changing climate relative to non-Indigenous groups (Maldonado et al., 2013;Bennett et al., 2014). Detrimental impacts to traditional environments constitute threats to Indigenous cultures, languages, lifeways, knowledge systems, and peoples (Turner and Clifton, 2009;Turner and Spalding, 2013;Jantarasami et al., 2018). ...
... Colonial policies have led to socioeconomic vulnerabilities in Indigenous communities, restricted community access to financial and technological resources, and pushed Indigenous settlements to remote and often environmentally compromised margins. These heightened natural and socioeconomic vulnerabilities mean that Indigenous peoples are both disproportionately exposed and often less equipped to respond to climate change relative to non-Indigenous communities (Bennett et al., 2014). The almost complete lack of relocation options is especially daunting (Maldonado et al., 2013;Romero Manrique et al., 2018). ...
... Because each Indigenous community in North America has unique relationships with territory and colonial experiences, generalizations are hazardous. That said, U.S. Tribes and Canadian First Nations are experiencing some common climate impacts, including decreases in water availability, increases in frequency and severity of extreme weather events and wildfires, traditional food shortages, and reduced snowpacks (Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources, 2008;Lynn et al., 2013;Bennett et al., 2014). Such impacts constitute risks to resource-dependent and subsistence economies and cultures (Huntington et al., 2017;Jantarasami et al., 2018). ...
Article
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Indigenous peoples are both disproportionately threatened by global climate change and uniquely positioned to enhance local adaptive capacities. We identify actions that support Indigenous adaptation based on organizational and community perspectives. Our data come from two Indigenous organizations that share cultural heritage stewardship missions—the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre (Stó:lō Nation, British Columbia) and the Fort Apache Heritage Foundation (White Mountain Apache Tribe, Arizona). These organizations collaborated with us in exploring community perceptions of climate effects, investigating community adaptation opportunities and constraints, and identifying actions that support Indigenous adaptation. Research methods included engagement with organizational collaborators and semi-structured interviews with organizational representatives and community members and staff. Results confirm that Stó:lō and Apache territories and communities have experienced climate change impacts, such as changes in temperature, hydrology, and increase in extreme weather events. Climate effects are cumulative to colonial depletion of traditional environments and further reduce access to traditional resources, practices, and food security. Results indicated that certain actions are identified by community members as adaptation enablers across case studies—most prominently, perpetuation of Indigenous culture and knowledge, climate education that is tailored to local contexts, collaborative decision-making among community institutions, and integration of climate adaptation into ongoing organizational programs. We conclude that Indigenous-owned organizations are engaged in the expansion of adaptive capacity and hold potential to further support their communities.
... This is a central concern for coastal tribes facing relocation (Bennett et al. 2014a; Maldonado 2014a Maldonado , 2014b). There is a very high likelihood that coastal erosion, sea-level rise, melting permafrost, or extreme weather events will force many coastal tribal communities to relocate (Bennett et al. 2014a), with potentially detrimental impacts on indigenous communities, culture, health, and economic well-being. ...
... The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne discovered that culturally important fish populations were contaminated with mercury and PCBs from past manufacturing (Whyte in press). In Alaska, food contamination is occurring as the ice cellars used for food storage thaw (Brubaker et al. 2011b), and contamination and pollution associated with flooding and energy development has led many to question the safety of water and soil in Louisiana (Maldonado et al. 2014a). ...
... Extreme weather events and biophysical changes may lead to permanent community displacement, or climigration (Maldonado et al. 2013)been forced to relocate by the loss of their homes to flooding (Maldonado 2014a). ...
Technical Report
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A growing body of literature examines the vulnerability, risk, resilience, and adaptation of indigenous peoples to climate change. This synthesis of literature brings together research pertaining to the impacts of climate change on sovereignty, culture, health, and economies that are currently being experienced by Alaska Native and American Indian tribes and other indigenous communities in the United States. The knowledge and science of how climate change impacts are affecting indigenous peoples contributes to the development of policies, plans, and programs for adapting to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This report defines and describes the key frameworks that inform indigenous understandings of climate change impacts and pathways for adaptation and mitigation, namely, tribal sovereignty and self-determination, culture and cultural identity, and indigenous community health indicators. It also provides a comprehensive synthesis of climate knowledge, science, and strategies that indigenous communities are exploring, as well as an understanding of the gaps in research on these issues. This literature synthesis is intended to make a contribution to future efforts such as the 4th National Climate Assessment, while serving as a resource for future research, tribal and agency climate initiatives, and policy development.
... Such differences shape differential risks stemming from climate change (Noble et al. 2014). Indigenous peoples 1 comprise some of the social groups that are disproportionately threatened by a changing climate (Bennett et al. 2014). In Indigenous contexts, vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change cannot be separated from the history of Western colonization (Redsteer et al. 2013). ...
... As climate change affects Indigenous peoples' local environments, it holds potential to equally affect Indigenous culture and language (Turner and Spalding 2013). Bennett et al. (2014;see also CIER 2008) identify additional reasons for this differential risk, including: ...
... Regarding North American Indigenous peoples and climatic impacts, various U.S. Tribes and Canadian Aboriginal Peoples are already experiencing harmful effects of climate change (Bennett et al. 2014;CIER 2008). First Nations will likely be among the most heavily affected social groups by climate change in Canada. ...
Thesis
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Indigenous peoples are disproportionately threatened by a changing climate. Research indicates that U.S. Tribes and Canadian Aboriginal Peoples are experiencing detrimental climate change effects. In this context, Indigenous organizations deserve special consideration as community-based pathfinders for collective welfare. I engaged with two Indigenous organizations that share cultural heritage stewardship missions—the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre (Stó:lō Nation, BC) and the Fort Apache Heritage Foundation (White Mountain Apache Tribe, AZ)—to investigate perceptions of climate effects and develop recommendations for organizational support of community adaptive capacity. Research methods included engagement with organizational collaborators, semi-structured interviews with organizational representatives and community members, and organizational documents review. Results indicate that community members are experiencing increase in extreme weather events, changes in water quantity and quality, reductions in long-term water and food security, and reduced access to traditional resources and traditional practices. Results identify diverse opportunities to enable adaptation, most of which are case study-specific. Educational services and information dissemination, cultural perpetuation services, and cooperation facilitation comprise organizational services associated with adaptive capacity enhancement in both case studies. I conclude that Indigenous organizations hold significant potential to support communities in adapting to a changing climate. I identify recommendations to boost and actualize this potential.
... Growing scientific literatures show that indigenous peoples, including many of those who neighbor industrial settler states, are threatened by a number of harmful losses and damages associated with anthropogenic climate change (Bennett et al. 2014;Arctic Climate Impact Assessment 2004;Larsen et al. 2014;Maldonado, Pandya, and Colombi 2013). The connection between these harms and industrial activities raises the issue of whether there are respects in which certain settler states can be held morally responsible to many indigenous peoples for abating these harms during adaptation. ...
... Recent scientific reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S. National Climate Assessment affirm the connection between indigenous peoples' cultures and climate change. Both suggest that in many cases the cultural importance of, for example, plants and animals is greater than their economic (commercial) value (Larsen et al. 2014;Bennett et al. 2014). Climate change losses and damages, then, concern cultural self-determination because certain impacts threaten to harm indigenous peoples through impeding their capacities to engage in their cultures (Figueroa 2011). ...
... Nor is it meant to ignore that indigenous peoples have numerous other strategies for adaptation that they can pursue autonomously or in conjunction with a range of other parties such as other indigenous peoples, nongovernmental organizations, municipalities, provinces, and research institutions. Indeed, the IPCC AR5 and U.S. National Climate Assessment and other international and national reports present numerous examples of indigenous adaptive capacity in action (Larsen et al. 2014;Bennett et al. 2014;Nakashima et al. 2012;McLean, Ramos-Castillo, and Rubis 2011;Grossman and Parker 2012). As discussed earlier, there is a large literature on the adaptive capacity of indigenous cultures and political systems. ...
Article
Indigenous peoples must adapt to a number of losses and damages from climate change impacts that threaten to harm their cultural and political self-determination. Industrial settler states, such as the U.S. or Canada, have responsibilities to indigenous peoples to address loss and damage that flow from how their industrial activities have factored into anthropogenic climate change. This essay describes two kinds of responsibility, impending and pending. Impending responsibility requires settler states to live up to the ramifications of developmental paths that they continue to pursue and that are at odds with indigenous cultural and political self- determination. Yet concepts of impending responsibility can tend to propose solutions that remain silent on the underlying political relations between indigenous peoples and settler states that threaten the viability of such solutions. Pending responsibility demands that settler states acknowledge that today’s political relations with indigenous peoples descend from structures of settler colonialism designed to limit indigenous adaptation to environmental change. Pending responsibility requires settler states to engage in a long needed process of political reconciliation with indigenous peoples that would radically restructure such political relations in ways that are flexible enough to facilitate styles of indigenous adaptation that accord with indigenous cultural and political self-determination.
... Many communities in the United States and around the world are struggling with the impacts of climate change. Indigenous communities face particular challenges because of their attachment to traditional lands and the impacts of colonization [1,2803], [2,299]. Among indigenous peoples in the United States, Alaska Native Villages (ANVs) are especially challenged because of the degree of change they are experiencing [3] as well as their lack of control over land and natural resources [4]. ...
... While much research has focused on how climate change has impacted indigenous communities [2] [19,509] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24], published research on how they are adapting and building resilience is more limited [18] [25] [26] [27] [28,32]. Within Alaska, the focus has often been on climate change impacts (particularly in terms of subsistence) and vulnerability more than adaptation [29] [44,95]. ...
... While some interviews and conversations took place in communities, most were by phone or during conferences regarding climate change and/or Alaska Native policy. 2 ...
... I ndigenous communities in the United States are increasingly recognized as being among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts on water resources (IPCC 2012;Cozzetto et al. 2013;Bennett et al. 2014). Increasing global temperatures have adverse effects on reservation lands, impacting ecological and landscape health, economic livelihoods, water quality and quantity, and traditional and cultural practices (Doyle et al. 2013;Bennett et al. 2014). ...
... I ndigenous communities in the United States are increasingly recognized as being among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts on water resources (IPCC 2012;Cozzetto et al. 2013;Bennett et al. 2014). Increasing global temperatures have adverse effects on reservation lands, impacting ecological and landscape health, economic livelihoods, water quality and quantity, and traditional and cultural practices (Doyle et al. 2013;Bennett et al. 2014). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that the number of areas affected by drought and earlier snowmelt will likely increase, adversely affecting water supplies available for municipal, industrial, and recreational use, wildlife habitat, as well as energy and food production (IPCC 2012;Mankin et al. 2015). ...
... The National Congress of American Indians (2017) continues to identify mitigating negative climate change impacts on indigenous communities among their top priorities. Even when ecological coherence exists, these impacts may be disparate at local and regional scales due to socio-cultural and political diversity among tribes (Bennett et al. 2014). Additionally, climate adaptation planning on tribal lands may require integrating indigenous traditional knowledge and worldviews with Western science (Cochran et al. 2013). ...
Article
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On reservation lands, tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) are key to preparing indigenous communities to adapt to the effects of a changing climate. The original mission of TCUs, to improve access to higher education and to sustain the cultural heritage of indigenous people, facilitates close ties between TCU faculty and staff and the indigenous communities they serve. Since 1994, the land‐grant status of TCUs allows access to limited federal funds in support of research, education, and outreach to improve food security, natural resource management, and rural quality of life, while expanding public access to higher education to underserved populations in remote rural areas. This study was designed to assess the priorities for enhancing climate adaptation on reservation lands. It summarizes the results of an assessment implemented at the 2016 Annual First Americans Land‐Grant Consortium Conference. Study participants included faculty, administrators, outreach educators, support staff, and students representing 25 of the 37 TCUs in the United States. Results from this national assessment suggest that in order for TCUs to effectively meet the climate adaptation needs of indigenous communities, additional fiscal and human resource investments are necessary. Specifically, this includes fiscal support to enhance climate science teaching, research, and professional development programs. Additional goals include creating or expanding food‐sovereignty programs, increasing community outreach education, investigating climate change impacts on water resource quality, access, and related ecological services, and exploring renewable and alternative energy opportunities.
... Indigenous peoples, lands, and resources in the US are currently experiencing a vast array of climate change impacts (Bennett et al. 2014;Houser et al. 2001;Larsen et al. 2014;Maynard 2002;McLean et al. 2009;Nakashima et al. 2012;Redsteer et al. 2013). Multiple social, environmental, economic, and political stressors increase the vulnerability of Indigenous peoples to climate change impacts, putting their livelihoods, communities, and deep connections to the natural and living environment at risk. ...
... Therefore, the chapter on Indigenous issues in the Third US National Climate Assessment (NCA3) only captured a small portion of the breadth and depth of climate change impacts and solutions occurring throughout the Indigenous communities in the US and its territories. Most of the authors of this paper were authors of the BIndigenous Peoples, Land and Resources^chapter in NCA 3 (Bennett et al. 2014; hereafter BIndigenous Peoples chapter^), as well as serving in significant other roles. Several authors of this paper who are Indigenous scientists working with Indigenous communities were given opportunities to take leading roles in the NCA process. ...
Chapter
The organizers of the 2014 US National Climate Assessment (NCA) made a concerted effort to reach out to and collaborate with Indigenous peoples, resulting in the most comprehensive information to date on climate change impacts to Indigenous peoples in a US national assessment. Yet, there is still much room for improvement in assessment processes to ensure adequate recognition of Indigenous perspectives and Indigenous knowledge systems. This article discusses the process used in creating the Indigenous Peoples, Land, and Resources NCA chapter by a team comprised of tribal members, agencies, academics, and nongovernmental organizations, who worked together to solicit, collect, and synthesize traditional knowledges and data from a diverse array of Indigenous communities across the US. It also discusses the synergy and discord between traditional knowledge systems and science and the emergence of cross-cutting issues and vulnerabilities for Indigenous peoples. The challenges of coalescing information about climate change and its impacts on Indigenous communities are outlined along with recommendations on the types of information to include in future assessment outputs. We recommend that future assessments – not only NCA, but other relevant local, regional, national, and international efforts aimed at the translation of climate information and assessments into meaningful actions – should support integration of Indigenous perspectives in a sustained way that builds respectful relationships and effectively engages Indigenous communities. Given the large number of tribes in the US and the current challenges and unique vulnerabilities of Indigenous communities, a special report focusing solely on climate change and Indigenous peoples is warranted.
... At lower elevations, larger is being investigated, but a specific mechanism has yet to be identified. Pacific madrone is susceptible to multiple fungal foliage diseases, twig dieback, trunk cankers, and root diseases (Bennett andShaw 2008, Maloney et al. 2004). ...
... Changes in climate can potentially jeopardize resources valued by tribes, and the well-being of tribal communities more generally, by exacerbating droughts, extreme storms and runoff events, as well as wildfires and insect outbreaks. Such changes threaten the availability of traditional foods, medicines, and materials to tribes, which can affect diets, health, and other dimensions of community well-being (Bennett et al. 2014, Lynn et al. 2013 The abundance and accessibility of these foods may shift with climate change (Chamberlain et al. 2018). Salmon have spiritual and economic value for many Pacific Northwest tribes. ...
Chapter
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Climate change will affect physical hydrological processes and resource values that are influenced by hydrology, including water available for human uses, water quality, roads, and developed infrastructure. Climate change is likely to alter the amount, timing, and type of precipitation, leading to less snow, receding glaciers, more winter precipitation as rain, earlier snowmelt, and fewer summer precipitation events. Anticipated streamflow changes include higher winter peak flow events associated with increased rain and rain-on-snow in mid to higher elevations, and overall declines in summer baseflows. Slower groundwater recession in areas with permeable volcanic rocks may dampen peak-flow increases and summer low-flow declines. Increasing temperature and changes in the amount and timing of precipitation and runoff will also affect water quality, water availability, soils, and vegetation. Roads and trails that were built decades ago are highly sensitive to climate change because of declining condition. Culverts remaining in place beyond their design life are less resilient to high flows and bed load movement and have a higher likelihood of structural failure. In the face of higher severity storms, aging infrastructure and outdated design standards can lead to increased incidents of road failure. In-stream restoration techniques (e.g., adding wood to streams) will improve hydrologic connectivity in floodplains and increase water storage capacity. Reintroducing or supporting populations of American beaver (Castor canadensis Kuhl) may also help to slow water movement and increase water storage. Working across boundaries on water protection plans and water conservation will help ensure adequate water supplies. Sediment delivery to streams from roads can be reduced by disconnecting ditch lines from streams during watershed restoration, timber projects, vegetation management, and road management. Landslide risk will be reduced by stabilizing slopes, mapping landslide risk, locating or relocating roads in areas that are less vulnerable to landslides, and decommissioning roads in vulnerable locations. Streamflow projections that consider climate change can inform decisions on structure type and sizing at stream crossings, as well as decisions about travel management and restoration. Increasing resilience of recreation facilities, stream crossings, historical and cultural sites, and points of diversion to peak flows will improve public safety.
... Indigenous peoples, lands, and resources in the US are currently experiencing a vast array of climate change impacts (Bennett et al. 2014;Houser et al. 2001;Larsen et al. 2014;Maynard 2002;McLean et al. 2009;Nakashima et al. 2012;Redsteer et al. 2013). Multiple social, environmental, economic, and political stressors increase the vulnerability of Indigenous peoples to climate change impacts, putting their livelihoods, communities, and deep connections to the natural and living environment at risk. ...
... Therefore, the chapter on Indigenous issues in the Third US National Climate Assessment (NCA3) only captured a small portion of the breadth and depth of climate change impacts and solutions occurring throughout the Indigenous communities in the US and its territories. Most of the authors of this paper were authors of the BIndigenous Peoples, Land and Resources^chapter in NCA 3 (Bennett et al. 2014; hereafter BIndigenous Peoples chapter^), as well as serving in significant other roles. Several authors of this paper who are Indigenous scientists working with Indigenous communities were given opportunities to take leading roles in the NCA process. ...
Article
Full-text available
The organizers of the 2014 US National Climate Assessment (NCA) made a concerted effort to reach out to and collaborate with Indigenous peoples, resulting in the most comprehensive information to date on climate change impacts to Indigenous peoples in a US national assessment. Yet, there is still much room for improvement in assessment processes to ensure adequate recognition of Indigenous perspectives and Indigenous knowledge systems. This article discusses the process used in creating the Indigenous Peoples, Land, and Resources NCA chapter by a team comprised of tribal members, agencies, academics, and non-governmental organizations, who worked together to solicit, collect, and synthesize traditional knowledges and data from a diverse array of Indigenous communities across the US. It also
... Developing survey question items informed by summit participants ensured that responses to the questions would be meaningful, relevant, and subsequently useful to the Indigenous communities represented. The authors then cross-referenced these question items with existing research literature related to community-based climate adaptation planning and climate impacts specific to the water resources of Indigenous communities on reservation lands in the southwestern USA (Bennett et al. 2014;Chief et al. 2014Chief et al. , 2016Cochran et al. 2013;Cozzetto et al. 2013;Gautam et al. 2013;Maldonado et al. 2016). Additional information and data needs included in the survey were determined from guidelines set forth by the Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Planning Toolkit available through the US Climate Resilience Toolkit and Guidelines for Considering Traditional Knowledges in Climate Change produced by the Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup in 2014. ...
Article
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Indigenous communities on reservation lands across the USA continue to demonstrate their leadership in climate resilience through active engagement in co-producing interdisciplinary solutions to adaptation. These initiatives, however, often ask Indigenous peoples to provide knowledge and resources to assist with adaptation efforts beyond their communities, which can limit their capacity to act locally. Trusting their expertise, we utilize a participatory research approach that asks tribal government employees, agriculturalists, researchers, and outreach professionals to prioritize the climate information and data they perceive as necessary to enhance the climate resilience of water resources of Indigenous communities. In doing so, this study provides empirical evidence specific to the climate adaptation needs of Indigenous communities on reservation lands in the arid southwestern USA. Study respondents prioritize climate information and data that serve to assess local climate change impacts, enhance food security, and integrate and protect the traditional knowledge of their communities. In this arid and predominantly rural region, respondents prioritize water quality data as their highest need followed by streamflow and air temperature data. They most frequently access their respective tribal government sources of climate information and data. These results indicate that localized climate data and information are highly prioritized. Future research and action to alleviate information and data gaps should account for the relevance, accessibility, and protection of these resources while prioritizing methods that ensure Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination rather than knowledge extraction.
... The anthropocene is often taken to refer to a period of time in the future or near present in which climate destabilization hastens dramatic ecological change (Davis and Todd 2017). Indigenous peoples' testimonies and reports and the work of journalists have raised awareness of issues pertaining to Indigenous mobility in the anthropocene, including climate-induced migration/resettlement and the loss of access to culturally relevant species within treaty protected areas (Jantarasami et al. 2018;Callison 2018;Bennett et al. 2014;Maldonado et al. 2013;Maynard 1998). Mobility, here, refers to the capacities of a group of people or society to adapt to environmental change. ...
Article
The anthropocene is often discussed as an era of ‘new’ environmental changes that require unprecedented forms of societal adaptation, one example being climate-induced resettlement. Yet discussions of the anthropocene can also be better contextualized in terms of their featuring certain phenomena as ‘new’ that are really much more longstanding phenomena. For example, many Indigenous peoples have ancient traditions of environmental ‘mobility.’ This essay reviews some of the history of Indigenous philosophies, especially Anishinaabe, of mobility, migration, and resettlement. Often these philosophies focus on fluid and transformative relationships as constituting the fabric of resilient societies. Indigenous traditions of mobility are critically relevant for climate justice. They put into relief how colonial power can operate as a containment strategy that works to curtail mobility. In this way, looking at Indigenous mobility in the anthropocene involves unraveling layers of colonialism where containment has been widely imposed. This claim can be used to signal some of the dangers of centering the causal role of climate change in certain cases societal movement. To further support our claims, the essay concludes with a brief analysis of some of the literature and testimonies on resettlement in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.
... The NCA has made substantial efforts to be more inclusive and diverse in both process and content. The Third National Climate Assessment was the first NCA to include a chapter dedicated to tribal and Indigenous peoples (Bennett et al. 2014), and other NCA sustained assessment products, including the Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health assessment (Gamble et al. 2016), includes Indigenous science and perspectives. NCA4 Volume II improved tribal and Indigenous inclusion by having a ''Tribes and Indigenous Peoples'' chapter (Jantarasami et al. 2018), by allocating funding for tribal representatives to attend the regional stakeholder engagement workshops, and by integrating tribal and Indigenous perspectives in many regional and national-level topic chapters. ...
Article
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The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) provided the most up-to-date understanding of climate change and its effects on the Earth system and on consequences for the United States, including impacts and associated risks, along with approaches to coping with these effects. It is intended to provide guidance to decision-makers in governmental sectors while, in practice, providing guidance for nongovernmental actors. Its regional and topical chapters highlight current knowledge, uncertainties, gaps in knowledge, and emerging threats. The current knowledge and gaps can help set a research agenda to inform future national, regional, and local climate assessments and thereby support better decision-making. The evolution of the assessment, including greater diversity in participation, and more grounded research in the Northwest represents a growing and deepening engagement with more diverse participants. This shift emphasizes the importance of diversity, inclusion, and a greater acknowledgment of multiple ways of knowing, including local and Indigenous knowledge. The Northwest chapter reflects the broader shift in framing from NCA3 to NCA4 to better understand how climate impacts pose risks to things of value in each sector or region. It considers climate impacts through five broad ways in which humans relate to the environment: natural resource economy; heritage and quality of life; water, transportation, and infrastructure; health and social systems; and frontline communities. We reflect on the assessment process and identify three recommendations to improve the assessment outcomes and processes: seek new ways to 1) engage diverse authors and stakeholders and 2) value and integrate epistemic plurality and different knowledge systems, and 3) when gaps are identified, promote research or data collection efforts designed to fill those gaps. Done well, the assessment can build support and knowledge to facilitate community action, leading to broader resilience.
... Arctic people have fewer adaptation options than those that are available elsewhere as their choices are limited by geography, economics, and culture. Due to their dependence upon, and close relationship with, the Arctic environment and its resources, indigenous peoples are among those least responsible, yet most impacted by changes in the Arctic (Bennett and others 2014). For these reasons, decision-making strategies must carefully consider the ethical tenets of responsibility, accountability and liability (for example Jamieson, 2007) in formulating ethical responses to address climate change in the Arctic. ...
Article
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Recent records of increasing temperature, melting of sea-ice, retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, increasing sea levels, and increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events provide clear evidence of global climate change, particularly in the Arctic. The impacts of climate change are not only environmental, but also influence social, economic, psychological, and political conditions in the region. The confluence of these conditions emphasises the need for improved communication of climate information and formulation of ethical responses to address changes in the Arctic. This review explores the meaning of ethical communication followed by an overview of the barriers to ethical communication including uncertainties related to climate change, and constructions of varying interpretations of climate change due to discipline-specific perspectives of science, journalism, and law, in the Arctic. The final section of this paper summarises key elements of ethical communication, and integration of ethical principles in formulating decision-making strategies to address climate change in the Arctic.
... Indigenous traditional knowledge (TK) is directly nested within the understanding of Natural or First Law. TK can be defined as "all that is known about the world around us and how to apply that knowledge in relation to those beings that share the world" [15]. TK systems are more species and environmentally inclusive which roots the current broad and increasingly heightened concern about the rate of loss of our ecosystems and the impacts of this on the life and balance of Mother Earth [8]. ...
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Indigenous Peoples associate their own laws with the laws of the natural world, which are formally known as or translated as Natural or First Law. These laws come from the Creator and the Land through our ancestral stories and therefore, they are sacred. All aspects of life and existence depend on living and following these natural First Laws. Since colonization, Indigenous Peoples’ Natural Laws have been forcibly replaced by modern-day laws that do not take into account the sacred relationship between the Earth and all of her inhabitants. The force of societies who live outside of Natural Law has ensured the modern-day consequences of not living in balance with nature. Pandemics and global environmental change, including climate change, are all consequences of not following the Natural Laws that are encapsulated by the interconnected nature of the universe. Here we discuss Natural Law from an Indigenous paradigm and worldview which carries implications for planetary health and wider environmental movements around the globe.
... 167,168 People living in low-income urban areas, those with limited access to supermarkets, 169,170 and the elderly may have difficulty accessing safe and nutritious food after disruptions associated with extreme weather events. Climate change will also affect U.S. Indigenous peoples' access to both wild and cultivated traditional foods associated with their nutrition, cultural practices, local economies, and community health 171 (see also Ch. 6 Water-Related Illness and Ch. 9: Populations of Concern). ...
... introduce half-measures as a cover for the uninterrupted extraction and transportation of gas, coal, and oil" (Foran et al., 2019, p. 223), it does confirm that little meaningful progress has been made to address colonialism, reduce the disproportionate climate impacts on Indigenous Nations, and advance Indigenousled solutions (Cameron, 2012;Maldonado et al., 2013). A similar lack of progress has occurred in the United States, as Indigenous scholars and allies document in the Indigenous-led chapter of the National Climate Assessment (Maldonado et al., 2013;Bennett et al., 2014). ...
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Climate policies and plans can lead to disproportionate impacts and benefits across different kinds of communities, serving to reinforce, and even exacerbate existing structural inequities and injustices. This is the case in Canada where, we argue, climate policy and planning is reproducing settler-colonial relations, violating Indigenous rights, and systematically excluding Indigenous Peoples from policy making. We conducted a critical policy analysis on two climate plans in Canada: the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (Pan-Canadian Framework), a federal government-led, top-down plan for reducing emissions; and the Québec ZéN (zero émissions nette, or net-zero emissions) Roadmap, a province-wide, bottom-up energy transition plan developed by civil society and environmental groups in Quebec. Our analysis found that, despite aspirational references to Indigenous Peoples and their inclusion, both the Pan-Canadian Framework and the ZéN Roadmap failed to uphold the right to self-determination and to free, prior, and informed consent, conflicting with commitments to reconciliation and a “Nation-to-Nation” relationship. Recognizing these limitations, we identify six components for an Indigenous-led climate policy agenda. These not including clear calls to action that climate policy must: prioritize the land and emphasize the need to rebalance our relationships with Mother Earth; position Indigenous Nations as Nations with the inherent right to self-determination; prioritize Indigenous knowledge systems; and advance climate-solutions that are interconnected, interdependent, and multi-dimensional. While this supports the emerging literature on Indigenous-led climate solutions, we stress that these calls offer a starting point, but additional work led by Indigenous Peoples and Nations is required to breathe life into a true Indigenous -led climate policy.
... Already, fishermen adjust where and when they cast their nets and which species they target (Pinsky and Fogarty 2012). Insect pests are taking advantage of warmer winter conditions in many parts of the U.S. and are thereby changing forest landscapes, including tree species that provide timber, income, and a way of life for communities and tribal nations (Bennett et al. 2014, Joyce et al. 2014. Forest thinning, a common management practice, raises the risk for drought impacts, which affects ecosystem services of forests (D'Amato et al. 2013). ...
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We assess scientific evidence that has emerged since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 Endangerment Finding for six well-mixed greenhouse gases, and find that this new evidence lends increased support to the conclusion that these gases pose a danger to public health and welfare. Newly available evidence about a wide range of observed and projected impacts strengthens the association between risk of some of these impacts and anthropogenic climate change; indicates that some impacts or combinations of impacts have the potential to be more severe than previously understood; and identifies substantial risk of additional impacts through processes and pathways not considered in the endangerment finding.
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Due to its semi‐arid climate, the Navajo Nation, situated in the southwestern United States, is sensitive to small changes in precipitation. However, little information on patterns and causes of rainfall variation is available for this sparsely populated region. In order to study stability and variability over time, this study characterized hydroclimatic changes for the Navajo Nation over timescales of months to years based on data from 90 sites from 2002 to 2015. This research will help local water managers identify related precipitation areas within the region, compare Navajo Nation precipitation with climate indices to ascertain larger‐scale atmospheric contributors to precipitation in the Four Corners region, and support future water planning in this understudied region. A vector quantization method, called k‐means clustering, identified five sub‐regions of contrasting precipitation climatology. The regions differed in the timing, magnitude, and relative importance of the winter and summer peaks comprising the bimodal precipitation regime of the area. Correlation examination of spatial and temporal trends of precipitation variability with three climate indices revealed strong winter precipitation relationships to the Pacific North American teleconnection pattern for all regions; summer precipitation teleconnections were weaker and more variable; however, modest correlations with Pacific Decadal Oscillation were observed. Climate field analysis indicates that cold‐season precipitation is enhanced by intensification of the Aleutian Low with a storm trajectory into the southwest United States; warm season precipitation is enhanced by poleward shift of the North American monsoon ridge.
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Indigenous communities are actively engaged in interdisciplinary climate adaptation initiatives across the United States making them experienced witnesses to community-based adaptation. This study offers the results of a regional survey of climate information and data needed to enhance the climate resiliency of water resources on reservation lands in the arid southwestern United States. Regional studies of this nature are particularly rare—and reasonably so—due to the place-based nature of Indigenous cultures and the diversity of community experiences. Study participants include tribal government employees, agriculturalists, researchers, and outreach professionals actively engaged in climate adaptation and resiliency efforts on reservation lands. Study respondents prioritize climate information and data that serve to assess local climate change impacts, enhance food security, and integrate the traditional knowledge of their communities into reservation-wide climate adaptation initiatives. In this arid and predominantly rural region, respondents prioritize water quality data as their highest need followed by streamflow data and air temperature data. They most frequently access their respective tribal sources of climate information and data. This research utilizes a participatory approach to identify needs unique to reservation lands in the southwestern United States while illuminating the critical role of Indigenous sovereignty in enhancing climate resiliency.
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Literature Review: Gender shapes Indigenous vulnerability and resilience due to the coupled social and ecological challenges of climate change in Indigenous communities in the United States (Maynard, 1998; Grossman and Parker, 2012; Bennett et al., 2014; Maldonado et al., 2014; Whyte, 2014). Despite its relevance, little research has analyzed the ways in which gender shapes climate change experiences. Even less research has focused on the impacts of climate change on Indigenous masculinity. With this backdrop, we foreground Indigenous men and masculinities with respect to climate change vulnerability and resilience. We open this chapter by briefly describing pre-contact Indigenous conceptions of gender in the US, followed by a discussion of how settlement has affected gender roles, relations and gendered traditional knowledge in Indigenous communities. We then describe some of the ways in which Indigeneity and masculinity are intersecting (or may intersect) with climate change in four key arenas: health, migration and displacement, economic and professional development, and culture. We follow this with a discussion of Indigenous men's roles in political resistance and climate change resilience. We conclude by summarizing the key implications for Indigenous climate change initiatives and for the ongoing reconstruction and reassertion of Indigenous gender identities.
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Although much research on climate change has focused on its disproportionate effects on the Global South, communities—particularly indigenous populations—within "developed" nations in the Global North can also face significant effects and inadequate assistance. One example is the native village and city of Kivalina in northwest Alaska. Through a case study of Kivalina, this article explores the gaps in U.S. policy for relocating Alaska Natives due to the effects of climate change. There is currently no policy in place—within the United States or internationally—for the resettlement of communities displaced by climate change. And in the United States there is no lead agency in charge of relocating displaced communities, despite several U.S. government reports stating that at least four Alaska Native villages, including Kivalina, must be resettled due to warming Arctic temperatures and erosion. This leaves government agencies in charge of assisting villages like Kivalina, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, who are responsible for helping ensure Kivalina's safety but are not empowered to innovate new procedures and holistically address what is an unprecedented problem: climate change. This has left Kivalina in what is termed here an administrative orbit, with residents made to work their way through a patchwork of various government programs and procedures that are time-consuming and often insufficient. In exploring these intra-national inequities, this article examines how a protocol specifically designed for those displaced by climate change, such as "climigration," could be merged with existing government efforts around emergency management to help prevent disasters before they occur, and to protect at-risk communities like Kivalina. Keywords: Disaster management; Alaska: environmentally induced migration; indigenous studies; resilience; displacement; relocation.
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Sand dunes and sand sheets are common geomorphic features of drylands across the globe. The stability of sand dunes and their rate of mobility are functions of sand supply, wind, and degree of vegetation cover (Hack, 1941; Lancaster, 1988; Livingstone and Warren, 1996). It is generally believed that dune mobility expresses three broad climatic threshold classes ranging from fully vegetated and thus stabilized and immobile, to partially vegetated and only intermittently active, to un-vegetated and thus entirely wind-driven and fully active (Ash and Wasson, 1983; Wasson and Nanninga, 1986; Lancaster, 1988; Tsoar, 1990; Muhs and Maat ,1993; Wolfe and Nickling, 1993;Wiggs et al., 1995; Buckley, 1996; Hugenholtz and Wolfe, 2005a; Thomas et al., 2005; Thomas and Leason, 2005; Tsoar, 2005; Okin, 2008; Ashkenazy et al., 2012). Transitions between stability classes and the climatic thresholds of state change are less well understood. Yizhaq et al. (2007, 2009) have developed models that can potentially explain the geographic coexistence of dunes in various states of mobility, and predict the threshold crossovers from one stability class to another. In stable and semi-stable states, where vegetative cover provides a stabilizing and sheltering influence, precipitation plays a significant role in reducing mobility by promoting new and continued plant growth. In highly mobile, sparsely vegetated dunes, however, precipitation may have little influence on mobility rates, as dune mobility often overcomes the ability of vegetation to establish growth, and wind power becomes the dominant force of change . The goal of this study was to determine the relative influence of precipitation and wind power on a marginally vegetated dune field within the Navajo Nation on intra-annual timescales.
Conference Paper
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The Navajo Nation is an ecologically sensitive semi-arid to arid section of the southern Colorado Plateau. In this remote part of the United States, located at the Four Corners (Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah), traditional people live a subsistence lifestyle that is inextricably tied to, and dependent upon, landscape conditions and water supplies. Soft bedrock lithologies and sand dunes dominate the region, making it highly sensitive to fluctuations in precipitation intensity, percent vegetation cover, and local land use practices. However, this region has sparse and discontinuous meteorological monitoring records. As a complement to the scant long-term meteorological records and historical documentation, we conducted interviews with 50 Native American elders from the Navajo Nation and compiled their lifetime observations on the changes in water availability, weather, and sand or dust storms. We then used these observations to further refine our understanding of the historical trends and impacts of climate change and drought for the region. In addition to altered landscape conditions due to climatic change, drought, and varying land use practices over the last 130 years, the Navajo people have been affected by federal policies and harsh economic conditions which weaken their cultural fabric. We conclude that a long-term drying trend and decreasing snowpack, superimposed on regional drought cycles, will magnify drought impacts on the Navajo Nation and leave its people increasingly vulnerable.
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Permafrost soils contain an estimated 1,700a €‰Pg of carbon, almost twice the present atmospheric carbon pool. As permafrost soils thaw owing to climate warming, respiration of organic matter within these soils will transfer carbon to the atmosphere, potentially leading to a positive feedback. Models in which the carbon cycle is uncoupled from the atmosphere, together with one-dimensional models, suggest that permafrost soils could release 7-138a €‰Pg carbon by 2100 (refsa,). Here, we use a coupled global climate model to quantify the magnitude of the warming generated by the feedback between permafrost carbon release and climate. According to our simulations, permafrost soils will release between 68 and 508a €‰Pg carbon by 2100. We show that the additional surface warming generated by the feedback between permafrost carbon and climate is independent of the pathway of anthropogenic emissions followed in the twenty-first century. We estimate that this feedback could result in an additional warming of 0.13-1.69a €‰°C by 2300. We further show that the upper bound for the strength of the feedback is reached under the less intensive emissions pathways. We suggest that permafrost carbon release could lead to significant warming, even under less intensive emissions trajectories.
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This compendium presents a wide-ranging overview of more than 400 projects, case studies and research activities specifically related to climate change and Indigenous Peoples. It provides a sketch of the climate and environmental changes, local observations and impacts being felt by communities in different regions, and outlines various adaptation and mitigation strategies that are currently being implemented by Indigenous Peoples – the world’s “advance guard” of climate change – as they use their traditional knowledge and survival skills to trial adaptive responses to change.
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The last six years (2007-2012) show a persistent change in early summer Arctic wind patterns relative to previous decades. The persistent pattern, which has been previously recognized as the Arctic Dipole (AD), is characterized by relatively low sea-level pressure over the Siberian Arctic with high pressure over the Beaufort Sea, extending across northern North America and over Greenland. Pressure differences peak in June. In a search for a proximate cause for the newly persistent AD pattern, we note that the composite 700 hPa geopotential height field during June 2007-2012 exhibits a positive anomaly only on the North American side of the Arctic, thus creating the enhanced mean meridional flow across the Arctic. Coupled impacts of the new persistent pattern are increased sea ice loss in summer, long-lived positive temperature anomalies and ice sheet loss in west Greenland, and a possible increase in Arctic-subarctic weather linkages through higher-amplitude upper-level flow. The North American location of increased 700 hPa positive anomalies suggests that a regional atmospheric blocking mechanism is responsible for the presence of the AD pattern, consistent with observations of unprecedented high pressure anomalies over Greenland since 2007.
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Three years ago we proposed that the summer Arctic would be nearly sea ice free by the 2030s; “nearly” is interpreted as sea ice extent less than 1.0 million km2. We consider this estimate to be still valid based on projections of updated climate models (CMIP5) and observational data. Similar to previous models (CMIP3), CMIP5 still shows a wide spread in hindcast and projected sea ice loss among different models. Further, there is no consensus in the scientific literature for the cause of such a spread in results for CMIP3 and CMIP5. While CMIP5 model mean sea ice extents are closer to observations than CMIP3, the rates of sea ice reduction in most model runs are slow relative to recent observations. All CMIP5 models do show loss of sea ice due to increased anthropogenic forcing relative to pre-industrial control runs. Applying the same technique of model selection and extrapolation approach to CMIP5 as we used in our previous paper, the interval range for a nearly sea ice free Arctic is 14 to 36 years, with a median value of 28 years. Relative to a 2007 baseline, this suggests a nearly sea ice free Arctic in the 2030s.
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Over the last 100 years, linear trends of tributary streamflow have changed on Columbia River Basin tribal reservations and historical lands ceded by tribes in treaties with the United States. Analysis of independent flow measures (Seasonal Flow Fraction, Center Timing, Spring Flow Onset, High Flow, Low Flow) using the Student t test and Mann-Kendall trend test suggests evidence for climate change trends for many of the 32 study basins. The trends exist despite interannual climate variability driven by the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation. The average April—July flow volume declined by 16 %. The median runoff volume date has moved earlier by 5.8 days. The Spring Flow Onset date has shifted earlier by 5.7 days. The trend of the flow standard deviation (i.e., weather variability) increased 3 % to 11 %. The 100-year November floods increased 49 %. The mid-Columbia 7Q10 low flows have decreased by 5 % to 38 %. Continuation of these climatic and hydrological trends may seriously challenge the future of salmon, their critical habitats, and the tribal peoples who depend upon these resources for their traditional livelihood, subsistence, and ceremonial purposes.
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The case of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe exemplifies tribal vulnerabilities as a result of climate change. Preliminary socio-economic data and analysis reveal that the tribe’s vulnerability to climate change is related to cultural and economic dependence on Pyramid Lake, while external socio-economic vulnerability factors influence adaptive capacity and amplify potential impacts. Reduced water supplies as a consequence of climate change would result in a compounded reduction of inflows to Pyramid Lake, thus potentially impacting the spawning and sustenance of a cultural livelihood, the endangered cui-ui fish (Chasmistes cujus). Meanwhile, limited economic opportunities and dwindling federal support constrain tribal adaptive capacity. Factors that contribute to tribal adaptive capacity include: sustainability-based values, technical capacity for natural resource management, proactive initiatives for the control of invasive-species, strong external scientific networks, and remarkable tribal awareness of climate change.
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Despite a keen awareness of climate change, northern Indigenous Peoples have had limited participation in climate-change science due to limited access, power imbalances, and differences in worldview. A western science emphasis on facts and an indigenous emphasis on relationships to spiritual and biophysical components indicate important but distinct contributions that each knowledge system can make. Indigenous communities are experiencing widespread thawing of permafrost and coastal erosion exacerbated by loss of protective sea ice. These climate-induced changes threaten village infrastructure, water supplies, health, and safety. Climate-induced habitat changes associated with loss of sea ice and with landscape drying and extensive wildfires interact with northern development to bring both economic opportunities and environmental impacts. A multi-pronged approach to broadening indigenous participation in climate-change research should: 1) engage communities in designing climate-change solutions; 2) create an environment of mutual respect for multiple ways of knowing; 3) directly assist communities in achieving their adaptation goals; 4) promote partnerships that foster effective climate solutions from both western and indigenous perspectives; and 5) foster regional and international networking to share climate solutions.
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American Indian and Alaska Native tribes are uniquely affected by climate change. Indigenous peoples have depended on a wide variety of native fungi, plant and animal species for food, medicine, ceremonies, community and economic health for countless generations. Climate change stands to impact the species and ecosystems that constitute tribal traditional foods that are vital to tribal culture, economy and traditional ways of life. This paper examines the impacts of climate change on tribal traditional foods by providing cultural context for the importance of traditional foods to tribal culture, recognizing that tribal access to traditional food resources is strongly influenced by the legal and regulatory relationship with the federal government, and examining the multi-faceted relationship that tribes have with places, ecological processes and species. Tribal participation in local, regional and national climate change adaption strategies, with a focus on food-based resources, can inform and strengthen the ability of both tribes and other governmental resource managers to address and adapt to climate change impacts.
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This paper reports on an exploratory analysis examining the prevalence of food (in)security in the Inuit community of Igloolik, Nunavut, identifying high risk groups, and characterising conditions facilitating and constraining food security. A stratified cross-sectional food survey was administered to 50 Inuit community members in July 2007. 64% of the participants surveyed experienced some degree of food insecurity in the past year (July 2006–July 2007). Food insecurity among the sample population greatly exceeds the Canadian average. This is cause for concern given the negative physical and mental health impacts that have been documented for low nutritional status. The prevalence and severity of food insecurity differed among participants; females and those obtaining most of their food from the store were at highest risk of food insecurity. Consumption of traditional foods was significantly associated with increased food security. The study supports the need for further research to investigate key trends highlighted by the sample. Preliminary identification of potential trends contributes towards the goal of identifying entry points for policy aimed at strengthening northern Inuit food systems.
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This paper explores whether fundamental differences exist between urban and rural vulnerability to climate-induced changes in the fire regime of interior Alaska. We further examine how communities and fire managers have responded to these changes and what additional adaptations could be put in place. We engage a variety of social science methods, including demographic analysis, semi-structured interviews, surveys, workshops and observations of public meetings. This work is part of an interdisciplinary study of feedback and interactions between climate, vegetation, fire and human components of the Boreal forest social–ecological system of interior Alaska. We have learned that although urban and rural communities in interior Alaska face similar increased exposure to wildfire as a result of climate change, important differences exist in their sensitivity to these biophysical, climate-induced changes. In particular, reliance on wild foods, delayed suppression response, financial resources and institutional connections vary between urban and rural communities. These differences depend largely on social, economic and institutional factors, and are not necessarily related to biophysical climate impacts per se. Fire management and suppression action motivated by political, economic or other pressures can serve as unintentional or indirect adaptation to climate change. However, this indirect response alone may not sufficiently reduce vulnerability to a changing fire regime. More deliberate and strategic responses may be required, given the magnitude of the expected climate change and the likelihood of an intensification of the fire regime in interior Alaska.
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The observations of community members and instrumental records indicate changes in sea ice around the Inuit community of Igloolik, in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. This paper characterizes local vulnerability to these changes, identifying who is vulnerable, to what stresses, and why, focusing on local and regional use of sea ice for the harvesting of renewable resources and travel. This analysis is coupled with instrumental and sea ice data to evaluate changing temperature/wind/sea ice trends over time, to complement local observations. We demonstrate the relationships between changing sea ice conditions/dynamics and harvesting activities (i.e. dangers and accessibility), with specific emphasis on ringed seal and walrus seasonal hunting, to illustrate current sea ice exposures that hunters are facing. Community members are adapting to such changes, as they have done for generations. However, current adaptive capacity is both enabled, and constrained, by social, cultural, and economic factors that manifest within the modern northern Hamlet. Enabling factors include the ability of hunters to manage or share the risks associated with sea ice travel, as well as through their flexibility in resource use, as facilitated by sophisticated local knowledge and land/navigational skills. Constraining factors include the erosion of land-based knowledge and skills, altered sharing networks, as well as financial and temporal limitations on travel/harvesting. The differential ability of community members to balance enabling and constraining factors, in relation to current exposures, comprises their level of vulnerability to sea ice change.
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The Arctic climate is changing. Permafrost is warming, hydrological processes are changing and biological and social systems are also evolving in response to these changing conditions. Knowing how the structure and function of arctic terrestrial ecosystems are responding to recent and persistent climate change is paramount to understanding the future state of the Earth system and how humans will need to adapt. Our holistic review presents a broad array of evidence that illustrates convincingly; the Arctic is undergoing a system-wide response to an altered climatic state. New extreme and seasonal surface climatic conditions are being experienced, a range of biophysical states and processes influenced by the threshold and phase change of freezing point are being altered, hydrological and biogeochemical cycles are shifting, and more regularly human sub-systems are being affected. Importantly, the patterns, magnitude and mechanisms of change have sometimes been unpredictable or difficult to isolate due to compounding factors. In almost every discipline represented, we show how the biocomplexity of the Arctic system has highlighted and challenged a paucity of integrated scientific knowledge, the lack of sustained observational and experimental time series, and the technical and logistic constraints of researching the Arctic environment. This study supports ongoing efforts to strengthen the interdisciplinarity of arctic system science and improve the coupling of large scale experimental manipulation with sustained time series observations by incorporating and integrating novel technologies, remote sensing and modeling.
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Climate change incurs costs, but government adaptation budgets are limited. Beyond a certain point, individuals must bear the costs or adapt to new circumstances, creating political-economic tipping points that we explore in three examples. First, many Alaska Native villages are threatened by erosion, but relocation is expensive. To date, critically threatened villages have not yet been relocated, suggesting that we may already have reached a political-economic tipping point. Second, forest fires shape landscape and ecological characteristics in interior Alaska. Climate-driven changes in fire regime require increased fire-fighting resources to maintain current patterns of vegetation and land use, but these resources appear to be less and less available, indicating an approaching tipping point. Third, rapid sea level rise, for example from accelerated melting of the Greenland ice sheet, will create a choice between protection and abandonment for coastal regions throughout the world, a potential global tipping point comparable to those now faced by Arctic communities. The examples illustrate the basic idea that if costs of response increase more quickly than available resources, then society has fewer and fewer options as time passes.
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Arctic tundra soils store large amounts of carbon (C) in organic soil layers hundreds to thousands of years old that insulate, and in some cases maintain, permafrost soils. Fire has been largely absent from most of this biome since the early Holocene epoch, but its frequency and extent are increasing, probably in response to climate warming. The effect of fires on the C balance of tundra landscapes, however, remains largely unknown. The Anaktuvuk River fire in 2007 burned 1,039 square kilometres of Alaska's Arctic slope, making it the largest fire on record for the tundra biome and doubling the cumulative area burned since 1950 (ref. 5). Here we report that tundra ecosystems lost 2,016 ± 435 g C m(-2) in the fire, an amount two orders of magnitude larger than annual net C exchange in undisturbed tundra. Sixty per cent of this C loss was from soil organic matter, and radiocarbon dating of residual soil layers revealed that the maximum age of soil C lost was 50 years. Scaled to the entire burned area, the fire released approximately 2.1 teragrams of C to the atmosphere, an amount similar in magnitude to the annual net C sink for the entire Arctic tundra biome averaged over the last quarter of the twentieth century. The magnitude of ecosystem C lost by fire, relative to both ecosystem and biome-scale fluxes, demonstrates that a climate-driven increase in tundra fire disturbance may represent a positive feedback, potentially offsetting Arctic greening and influencing the net C balance of the tundra biome.
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Develop a process for assessing climate change impacts on public health that identifies climate-health vulnerabilities and mechanisms and encourages adaptation. Multi-stakeholder, participatory, qualitative research. A Climate Change Health Assessment (CCHA) was developed that involved 4 steps: (1) scoping to describe local conditions and engage stakeholders; (2) surveying to collect descriptive and quantitative data; (3) analysis to evaluate the data; and (4) planning to communicate findings and explore appropriate actions with community members. The health effects related to extreme weather, thinning ice, erosion, flooding, thawing permafrost and changing conditions of water and food resources were considered. The CCHA process was developed and performed in north-west Arctic villages. Refinement of the process took place in Point Hope, a coastal Inupiat village that practices whaling and a variety of other traditional subsistence harvest practices. Local observers identified climate change impacts that resulted in damaged health infrastructure, compromised food and water security and increased risk of injury. Priority health issues included thawing traditional ice cellars, diminished quality of the community water source and increased safety issues related to sea ice change. The CCHA increased awareness about health vulnerability and encouraged informed planning and decision-making. A community-scale assessment process guided by observation-based data can identify climate health impacts, raise awareness and encourage adaptive actions, thereby improving the response capacity of communities vulnerable to climate change.
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The Arctic has warmed substantially over the last few decades. A recent study shows that temperatures over the last century increased almost three times faster in the Arctic than elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, reversing a 2000-year cooling trend, and outpacing current climate model predictions. This rapid warming trend is anticipated to continue into the next century with temperature increases exceeding those predicted in the rest of the Northern Hemisphere and will result in accelerated loss of land and sea ice, and an increased rate of sea level rise, with global consequences. These changes are already impacting local communities, which have observed profound changes in their local environments, and are leading to significant economic and cultural upheaval particularly for the indigenous peoples of the Arctic. Because climate change is more advanced in the Arctic than other regions of the world, the Arctic can play a vital role in preparing the world for what is to come. (Published: 11 November 2009) Global Health Action 2009. DOI: 10.3402/gha.v2i0.2075
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Prepared for the 2013 National Climate Assessment and a landmark study in terms of its breadth and depth of coverage, this report blends the contributions of 120 experts in climate science, economics, ecology, engineering, geography, hydrology, planning, resources management, and other disciplines to provide the most comprehensive, and understandable, analysis to date about climate and its effects on the people and landscapes of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah-including the U.S.-Mexico border region and the lands of Native Nations. What is the climate of the Southwest like today? What has it been like in the past, and how is it projected to change over the 21st century? How will that affect water resources, ecosystems, agricultural production, energy supply and delivery, transportation, human health, and a host of other areas? How vulnerable is the region to climate change? What else do we need to know about it, and how can we limit its adverse effects?. In addressing these and other questions, the book offers decision makers and stakeholders a substantial basis from which to make informed choices that will affect the well-being of the region's inhabitants in the decades to come.
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Climate change related impacts, such as increased frequency and intensity of wildfires, higher temperatures, extreme changes to ecosystem processes, forest conversion and habitat degradation are threatening tribal access to valued resources. Climate change is and will affect the quantity and quality of resources tribes depend upon to perpetuate their cultures and livelihoods. Climate impacts on forests are expected to directly affect culturally important fungi, plant and animal species, in turn affecting tribal sovereignty, culture, and economy. This article examines the climate impacts on forests and the resulting effects on tribal cultures and resources. To understand potential adaptive strategies to climate change, the article also explores traditional ecological knowledge and historical tribal adaptive approaches in resource management, and contemporary examples of research and tribal practices related to forestry, invasive species, traditional use of fire and tribal-federal coordination on resource management projects. The article concludes by summarizing tribal adaptive strategies to climate change and considerations for strengthening the federal-tribal relationship to address climate change impacts to forests and tribal valued resources.
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This report shows that over time more American Indian/Alaska Native students have completed high school and gone on to college and that their attainment expectations have substantially increased in the past 20 years. Despite these gains, progress has been uneven and differences persist between American Indian/Alaska Native and White students on key indicators of educational performance. This report is organized into the following four sections: (1) Demographic Overview; (2) Preprimary, Elementary, and Secondary Education; (3) Postsecondary Education; (4) and Outcomes of Education. The data in this reports draws on many different surveys, including from the National Center for Education Statistics. In addition to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, this report draws from federal agencies and other organizations.
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Connecting indigenous and scientific observations and knowledge has received much attention in the Arctic, not least in the area of climate change. On some levels, this connection can be established relatively easily, linking observations of similar phenomena or of various effects stemming from the same cause. Closer examinations of specific environmental parameters, however, can lead to far more complex and difficult attempts to make those connections. In this paper we examine observations of wind at Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada. For Inuit, many activities are governed by environmental conditions. Wind, in particular, is identified by Inuit as one of the most important environmental variables, playing a key role in driving sea ice, ocean, and weather conditions that can either enable or constrain hunting, travel, or other important activities. Inuit observe wind patterns closely, and through many means, as a result of their close connection to the land and sea. Inuit in many parts of Nunavut are reporting changes in wind patterns in recent years. At Clyde River, a community on the eastern coast of Baffin Island, Inuit have observed that at least three key aspects of wind have changed over the last few decades: wind variability, wind speed, and wind direction. At the same time, wind observations are also available from an operational weather station located at Clyde River. An analysis of this information shows little change in wind parameters since the mid-1970s. Though the station data and Inuit observations correspond in some instances, overall, there is limited agreement. Although the differences in the two perspectives may point to possible biases that may exist from both sources—the weather station data may not be representative of the region, Inuit observations or explanations may be inaccurate, or the instrumental and Inuit observations may not be of the same phenomena—they also raise interesting questions about methods for observing wind and the nature of Arctic winds.
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Presentation and recommendations made to an international experts meeting: “Sustainable Developmentin the Arctic in the Face of Global Climate Change: Scientific, Social, Cultural and EducationalChallenges,” Monte Carlo, Monaco, 3–6 March 2009.The statements and positions contained in this report represent the proceedings of the meeting.They are those of the presenter and do not necessarily represent the official position of CDC orthe symposium’s sponsors. International Journal of Circumpolar Health 69:1 2010
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We sought to describe HIV-infected American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ AN) in the western United States. One hundred fifty-one Al/AN and 11,344 non-AI/AN HIV-infected patients in Seattle, Denver, and Los Angeles were followed by medical record review from January 1989 through June 1998 for the Adult/Adolescent Spectrum of HIV-related Diseases study. Bivariate and multivariate statistical analyses comparing HIV-infected Al/AN and non-AI/AN were performed. There were 103 (68%) male and 48 (32%) female Al/AN patients, while non-Al/AN patients were 86% male and 14% female (P<.001). The median age among AI/ AN was 32 years vs. 34 years among non-AI/AN (P = .05). Male Al/AN were more likely than male non-AI/AN to report the dual risks of having sex with men and injection drug use (32% vs. 14%; P<.001) compared with other HIV risks. Median CD4 cell counts were higher in Al/AN than in non-AI/AN (P< or =.001). AI/AN were more likely to be diagnosed with an acute sexually transmitted disease (STD) than were non-AI/AN (11% vs. 4%, P<.001). Five (6%) of AI/AN with AIDS had active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) compared with 132 (2%) of non-AI/AN with AIDS (P = .02). While 52% of Al/AN and 44% of non-AI/AN had a psychiatric illness (P = .04), and 13% of AI/AN, and 6% of non-AI/ AN had suicidal ideation (P<.001), these associations became non-significant in analyses stratified by alcohol and drug use (P>.05). In adjusted models, survival and progression to opportunistic infection or CD4 cell count less than 200/mm3 did not significantly differ between Al/AN and non-AI/AN. HIV-infected AI/AN were younger than non-AI/AN, and a greater proportion of Al/AN were women relative to non-AI/AN. AI/AN were more likely to be diagnosed with STDs and TB. In adjusted models, their risks of death and developing AIDS did not significantly differ from those of non-AI/AN.
Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Options: A Review of the Scientific Literature
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Rose, K. A., 2010: Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Options: A Review of the Scientific Literature, 86 pp., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10, Seattle, WA. [Available online at http://www.epa.gov/region10/pdf/tribal/airquality/Tribal_ Climate_Change_Adaptation_Report_rev_1_1-6-10.pdf]
Uses of Plant Food-Medicines in the Wabanaki Bioregions of the Northeast; a Cultural Assessment of Berry Harvesting Practices and Customs
  • N Michelle
Michelle, N., 2012: Uses of Plant Food-Medicines in the Wabanaki Bioregions of the Northeast; a Cultural Assessment of Berry Harvesting Practices and Customs. University of Maine, Orono.
Kivalina: A Climate Change Story
  • C Shearer
Shearer, C., 2011: Kivalina: A Climate Change Story. Haymarket Books, 198 pp.
Special report on climate impacts in the Arctic Native Peoples-Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop: Final Report: Circles of Wisdom
  • C Pungowiyi
Pungowiyi, C., 2002: Special report on climate impacts in the Arctic. Native Peoples-Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop: Final Report: Circles of Wisdom, N. G. Maynard, Ed., NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 11-12. [Available online at http://www.usgcrp. gov/usgcrp/Library/nationalassessment/native.pdf]
Major Acts of Congress
  • B K Landsberg
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Landsberg, B. K., Ed., 2003: Major Acts of Congress. Includes Indian General Allotment Act (Dawes Act) (1887). Gale/Cengage Learning, 1178 pp.
Department of Natural Resources Eco-Cultural Resource Management Plan, 171 pp., Karuk Tribe of California, Department of Natural Resources
  • Karuk Tribe
Karuk Tribe, 2010: Department of Natural Resources Eco-Cultural Resource Management Plan, 171 pp., Karuk Tribe of California, Department of Natural Resources. [Available online at http://www.karuk.us/karuk2/images/docs/dnr/ ECRMP_6-15-10_doc.pdf]
A study of two northern peoples and local effects of climate change on traditional food security
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Guyot, M., C. Dickson, C. Paci, C. Furgal, and H. M. Chan, 2006: A study of two northern peoples and local effects of climate change on traditional food security. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 65, 403-415, doi:10.3402/ijch.v65i5.18135. [Available online at http://www.circumpolarhealthjournal.net/index.php/ijch/ article/view/18135]
The Effects of Altered Diet on the Health of the Karuk People, 110 pp., Karuk Tribe of California
  • K M Norgaard
Norgaard, K. M., 2005: The Effects of Altered Diet on the Health of the Karuk People, 110 pp., Karuk Tribe of California. [Available online at http://ejcw.org/documents/Kari%20Norgaard%20 Karuk%20Altered%20Diet%20Nov2005.pdf]
Alaska Native Villages: Limited Progress Has Been Made on Relocating Villages Threatened By Flooding and Erosion. Government Accountability Office Report GAO-09-551, 53 pp., U.S. Government Accountability Office
GAO, 2009: Alaska Native Villages: Limited Progress Has Been Made on Relocating Villages Threatened By Flooding and Erosion. Government Accountability Office Report GAO-09-551, 53 pp., U.S. Government Accountability Office. [Available online at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09551.pdf]
Initial Assessment of Lead Agency Candidates to Support Alaska Native Villages Requiring Relocation to Survive Climate Harms
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Bender, S., E. Burke, D. Chahim, L. Eshbach, L. L. Gordon, F. Kaplan, K. McCusker, H. Palevsky, M. Rowell, D. Battisti, J. Barcelos, J. Marlow, and S. Stzern, 2011: Initial Assessment of Lead Agency Candidates to Support Alaska Native Villages Requiring Relocation to Survive Climate Harms, 82 pp., University of Washington Climate Justice Seminar Spring 2011, Three Degrees Project, Seattle, WA. [Available online at http:// threedegreeswarmer.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/ FinalCJS2011paper_AK_Native_Village_Relocation1.pdf]
Cooperative Drought Contingency Plan-Hualapai Reservation Hualapai Tribe Department of Natural Resources, Peach Springs, AZ. [Available online at http:// hualapai.org/resources
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Christensen, K., 2003: Cooperative Drought Contingency Plan-Hualapai Reservation. Hualapai Tribe Department of Natural Resources, Peach Springs, AZ. [Available online at http:// hualapai.org/resources/Aministrat ion/droughtplan. rev3BOR.pdf]
Tribal Profiles. Alaska -Athabascan Region. Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
ITEP, cited 2011: Tribal Profiles. Alaska -Athabascan Region. Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals. [Available online at www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/ak_athabascan.asp]