Climate change could weaken the connections between tribal traditional knowledge and the ecology of their homelands. Traditional knowledge is seen as an important contributor to climate adaptation planning for both American Indian communities and neighboring communities in the region. This project addresses the challenge of how specific tribes can adapt to climate change in ways that ensure the protection of tribal cultures and harness cultural resources, as well as integrate the best scientific resources about environmental change, address emerging social problems, and negotiate jurisdictional challenges unique to federally-recognized tribes.
The project explores two questions: (1) Can foresight processes be used to create viable climate adaptation scenarios that can help tribes build capacities in advance? And (2) Can foresight processes involving tribal leaders and natural resource staff in the agencies and departments of federally recognized tribes garner sufficient community involvement for building scenarios that reflect tribes’ cultures, social situations, knowledge needs and resources, and jurisdictional and legal complexities? To answer these questions, the project will initiate community stakeholder engagement processes of foresight for two to three tribal communities who are part of the network of the Center for First Americans Forestlands.