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 https://www.nwclimatescience.org/home,
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
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.”