Partnering with American Indian Tribes in the South-Central U.S. on Climate Adaptation Products and Services

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Thursday, 6 February 2014: 9:15 AM
Room C107 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Renee McPherson, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and L. Smith, P. Blanchard, R. Peppler, R. E. Riley, A. Taylor, F. Gómez, J. Palmer, and K. Winton

The establishment of the South Central Climate Science Center heralded new forms of partnership among tribal nations and members of the climate science and conservation communities. But communicating key concepts such as risk and vulnerability is a culturally specific practice. So these new, reciprocal relationships called for pluricultural conversations about climate change and variability. To contribute to the goal of mutual understanding, the University of Oklahoma was funded by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to develop and implement a series of workshops that would (1) educate tribal representatives across the South Central Climate Science Center region about climate adaptation-related products and services; (2) document climate impacts on the tribal nations and their peoples, lands, resources, and economies; and (3) extend, enhance, and foster the dialogue between tribal citizens and government representatives, climate scientists, Indigenous geographers, and U.S. government representatives that was previously initiated through three related meetings in Oklahoma.

The University hosted five one-day workshops across New Mexico and Oklahoma during June and July 2013. Part of the workshop was devoted listening to the tribal citizens and tribal representatives explain what climate change meant to them and describe how their tribe was trying to adapt. After a brief overview of the project, this presentation will screen a video that allows Indigenous Peoples from across the south-central U.S. to represent themselves in the discussion of climate change and adaptation.