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University Of Idaho To Host First-Ever National Tribal ‘Climate Boot Camp’ June 2016
Posted on Friday, September 11, 2015 (PST)

Climate change has a direct impact on Native American communities through disruption to local economies and traditional cultures. To help address these impacts, members of tribes from across the United States will convene at the University of Idaho’s McCall Field Campus in June 2016 for the first-ever National Tribal Climate Boot Camp.


 The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center, in which UI is a partner, will model the event in Moscow, Idaho after its annual Climate Boot Camp that prepares graduate students and early-career professionals to understand and adapt to climate change. 


The National Tribal Climate Boot Camp will bring together early-career professionals from among the 83 member Tribes of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and United South and Eastern Tribes for a weeklong intensive educational experience to learn about climate-related impacts, with a specific focus on issues connected to tribal needs and concerns.


“University of Idaho faculty and students are excited to collaborate with and support tribes in our region and across the United States,” said Steven Daley-Laursen, Tribal Climate Boot Camp director and a faculty member in the UI Department of Natural Resources and Society in the College of Natural Resources. “We are honored to host this first-ever camp of its kind at our university’s beautiful lakeside campus in McCall.”


The camp will address the tribes’ climate-related needs, including in-depth immersion in climate science, indigenous/traditional ecological knowledge, policy and management issues, and science communication and outreach. It will include case studies of climate-change issues related to tribes and field trips to experience firsthand the collaboration needed to successfully plan for adaptation. Faculty at UI, Oregon State University, University of Washington and other universities, along with tribal leaders, are collaborating to develop the camp’s program and training.


“Being able to provide this unique educational opportunity is one of the most meaningful contributions the Northwest Climate Science Center can make to the Native American community at large,” said Gustavo Bisbal, Northwest Climate Science Center director. “Training tribal early-career professionals may have a lasting effect that can influence how a large number of tribes respond and adapt to the challenges of a changing climate.”


The event is part of a recently announced bi-coastal tribal climate change initiative, a collaborative effort of the two tribal organizations, the Institute for Tribal Government, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Northwest Climate Science Center.


“The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians organization is strategically partnering with the Northwest Climate Science Center and the universities to implement a national priority with the Obama administration and tribal governments,” said Don Sampson, ATNI’s climate change coordinator. “Tribal communities are the most impacted communities in the United States and this effort will help build the tribal capacity to address climate impacts.”


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