Moving from Planning to Implementation: How Indigenous communities are acting to build resilience

Moving from Planning to Implementation: How Indigenous communities are acting to build resilience

Shannon McNeeley
Colorado State University
Time Slot: 
Concurrent Sessions 3
Session Type: 

Indigenuity Session 2 of 3
While communities have long been leaders in assessing the risk of climate change and planning to reduce those risks, there has always been a gap between planning and implementation. Now, thanks to the actions of a number of Indigenous communities and tribes from different regions of the country that gap is closing. Indigenous resilience and climate preparedness actions are generally built off a solid assessment and planning foundation that incorporates both traditional knowledges and western sciences. These actions take on varying forms and include everything from detailed forest restoration and infrastructure redesign projects to developing training programs and funding mini-resilience action grants.
Come participate in a session that focuses specifically on implementation and hear directly from five different tribes on how they are turning adaptation plans into on the ground action. The session will start with a brief overview and engagement activity. That will be followed by short (8-10min) presentations by five different tribes and a moderated panel discussion highlighting opportunities for implementation, identifying and overcoming barriers to action, and how best to find funding and enhance community support for action. The session will conclude with 15 minutes of Q&A with the participants. We conducted a national survey through ITEP, Rising Voices, and other networks of the Indigenous peoples and climate change community to ask what sessions they wanted for NAF2019, and this was one of the top requested sessions. All speakers are confirmed except one.


Introduction to Moving from Planning to Implementation – How Indigenous communities are acting to build resilience
Shannon McNeeley, Colorado State University
White bark pine Past, Present, Future - Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Adaptation Plan Implementation
Michael Durglo, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Climate Adaptation Actions in the 1854 Ceded Territory: Prioritization & Implementation
Tansey Smith, 1854 Treaty Authority
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The presentation will provide an overview of 1854 Treaty Authority’s climate change program including development of a vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan, process for prioritizing actions identified in the plan and current actions being implemented.

Climate Resilience and Implementation in the Upper Snake River Basin of the Intermountain West
Scott Hauser, Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation
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The Upper Snake River Tribes (USRT) Foundation began a set of phased climate resiliency actions, beginning with a vulnerability assessment, in 2016. USRT is currently near completion of both an adaptation plan and a rangeland, climate, and cattle literature review and just initiated an extensive climate education/outreach and youth initiative project. During the adaptation planning process USRT provided each of its four member tribes with a small grant to implement a climate resiliency pilot project on their respective reservations. Additionally, a videographer traveled to each reservation and captured video for the creation of short, climate-focused videos. USRT staff will discuss the pilot projects and show one of the videos during their presentation.

Using Plant Communities to Regenerate Soil in the Face of Climate Change on the Menominee Reservation
Jeff Grignon , Menominee Tribal Enterprises
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The presentation will focus on using scientific tools guided by indigenous knowledge to mitigate the effects of climate influenced diseases. The Menominee are recreating site-specific plant communities to regenerate soil in the aftermath of the oak wilt fungus. The goal being to promote a cost-effective way to strengthen plant communities in all ecological environments.

Managed Retreat in Napakiak, Alaska
Walter Nelson, Native Village of Napakiak
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The Alaska Native Village of Napakiak has been responding to the aggressive river line erosion for decades. Recently, the summer of May of 2018 the erosion rate has accelerated and the school, fuel tank farm, water well, and the airport are threatened. The City and the Tribal Council members have worked closely together with the assistance from (DCRA) Division of Community and Regional Affair and (ANTHC) Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to complete our 5-year Community Plan that identifies all aspects of the community. We have continuously for years had to relocate residential and commercial buildings to the west side of our community without having to rely on funding that takes months and even years to acquire. We have collaborated within and outside of our region and had an interagency meeting to communicate our points and efforts we have taken on our own to tackle this on-going erosion problem within our community. With such high costs that are associated with living in rural Alaska and not being on a road system we are managing to resolve our current erosion problem, which will continue with this global warming trend we see occurring more rapidly in Alaska. We have seen from our own past experience that relying on other funding sources can be challenging, but we have been able to apply and have received limited funding for relocating buildings. We are still facing upcoming, different challenges for our community without having a formal climate adaption plan in place.