Climate Community Outreach & Education

USRT has just received its third Bureau of Indian Affairs Climate Resilience Grant. Beginning in 2019 USRT proposes to undertake:

  1. Develop Educational and Outreach Materials
  2. Tribal Community Forums/Workshops, Agencies and Partners Webinars, and Local and Regional Conferences
  3. Tribal Youth Climate Ambassador and Knowledge Sharing Tour
  4. Monitor Effectiveness of Educational and Outreach Materials

One of the greatest challenges facing tribal resource managers is engaging tribal leaders and members in climate-related science and adaptation efforts and translating that information into relatable examples for them, as many tribal members generally lack technical scientific backgrounds. High impact outreach, communication, and workshops about the value of ecosystems, a changing climate, adaptation projects, and mitigation efforts can motivate tribal leaders, staff, and membership to act in ways that protect and sustain the environment and their cultural resources. Climate-based decision making requires engaging people with diverse, conflicted, and/or limited perspectives in dialogues about what is at stake, who benefits, and who stands to lose without mitigation action. Collaborative learning and discussion can reduce conflict and contribute to the development of shared meaning amongst tribal leaders, members, and natural resource managers. These discussions can facilitate the development of actions and planning of future projects that sustain and create resilience for ecosystem services and cultural resources that support and sustain tribal lifeways.

In this project, USRT plans to develop education/outreach materials using adult and youth learning techniques and conduct engagement workshops for tribal leadership, staff, and membership. This interactive and multi-faceted engagement process will help disseminate climate-based knowledge, help build support for actions that reduce the risk that extreme weather events and harmful environmental trends pose to the member tribes, and inform tribal members of USRT’s existing and continuing Climate Adaptation and Resilience projects. The approaches and materials can also be shared with tribes across the Pacific and Inland Northwest and help build climate literacy and resilience across the regions.

There will be four different target audiences: 1) tribal leaders, 2) tribal staff, 3) tribal membership, and 4) tribal youth (6-18 age group). Materials will focus on how a changing climate is affecting tribal cultural resources, and what they can do to sustain those resources, or adapt, should those resources become non-sustainable under new climate scenarios. USRT will hold multiple workshops, webinars, and attend regional/national conferences showcasing materials produced.

USRT understands that involving tribal youth is critical in truly helping tribes adapt to extreme conditions and sustaining the momentum of future resilience efforts. Therefore, a knowledge sharing Tribal Youth Tour will be developed to showcase each tribe’s climate work and allow for discussion between project staff and tribal youth from USRT’s four member tribes.

Please continue to check back for developing materials and project updates.