"Our Elders talked about changes before passing away because they knew the changes by observing. Never used to believe them, but now I do.”
– Kwigillingok community member, 2019
"As a council, we need to think about how we’re going to deal with this.”
– Iliamna Leadership, 2019
The AK CASC is building relationships with Alaska Tribes and tribal entities to jointly create or identify information needed to plan and adapt to a rapidly changing Alaskan and Arctic climate.
The AK CASC recognizes that Indigenous Peoples’ observations and knowledge far predates and complements long term datasets. By weaving indigenous observations with western climate predictions and tools, communities throughout the state can more effectively adapt, plan, and mitigate climate impacts that are already occurring.
How we work with tribes
Alaska Native communities have a wide range of information needs for planning and adaptation in a changing climate. It's important to recognize that some of those needs are first met by local and Indigenous knowledge. Anything we can provide from "western science" often serves as secondary or supporting information.
However, planning and adaptation occur in a context that incorporates both traditional and government agency requirements and needs, and formal planning processes often require the agency's definition of best available science.
For current climatic trends and future climate projections in Alaska, this means assembling the quantitative observations and future projections of temperature, precipitation, and other climatic, hydrologic, and ecological impacts modeled for the places of interest to communities.
Jeremy Littell and other AK CASC scientists work with Tribes to provide this in ways that are applicable by the communities—such as fulfilling requests for regional projections for temperature, precipitation, snowpack, permafrost thaw, and wildfire, and more.
The BIA Tribal Resilience Program (TRP) provides federal resources to Tribes. Direct funding supports tribes, tribal consortia, and authorized tribal organizations to build resilience through competitive awards for tribally designed resilience training, adaptation planning, vulnerability assessments, supplemental monitoring, capacity building, and youth engagement.
Tribal Liaison Malinda Chase
Through a partnership between the Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Resilience Program, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, the AK CASC hosts Malinda Chase as our Tribal Liaison. Malinda is an enrolled tribal member of Anvik, a Deg Hit’an Athabascan village located at the confluence of the Yukon and Anvik Rivers.
As Tribal Liaison, Malinda seeks ways to connect, support, and further initiatives between Alaska Tribes, the climate research community, and additional collaborators, to help tribes prepare for and respond to climate impacts. Contact Malinda
Tribal Resilience e-Bulletin
The Tribal Resilience e-Bulletin is a quick read of Tribal and Arctic climate-related news, resources, and upcoming opportunities.
We encourage Alaska Tribes to take advantage of these opportunities, share this information, and send us any news that may be of interest to others across Alaska or Tribal communities.