August 2013

SIDEBAR: Climate Change Impacts to Tribes in the Southwestern United States


The Tribal Lands and Environment Forum is celebrating its fourth year. This annual event is coming to New Mexico for the first time, and will take place at the Pueblo of Santa Ana’s Tamayá Resort Aug. 19-22, 2013. This forum, co-sponsored by the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals and the US EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Response, brings together over 200 tribal professionals from Alaska to Alabama, and Maine to California, as well as their federal colleagues. This event features a series of intensive trainings, multiple plenary sessions, and over 40 breakout sessions, all focused on the fields of solid waste, hazardous waste, Brownfields, Superfund, underground storage tanks, and emergency response programs. This year ITEP will also be incorporating several sessions dealing with the effects of climate change on tribal lands. For more information please visit ITEP’s website at


Climate Change Program

About the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals and its Climate Change Program


The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) was created in 1992 to act as a catalyst among tribal governments, research and technical resources at Northern Arizona University in support of environmental protection of Native American natural resources. Its mission is to “serve tribes through outstanding, culturally relevant education and training that increase environmental capacity and strengthen sovereignty.” Since its inception, ITEP has served over 500 of the 566 federally recognized tribes across the United States.


ITEP’s Climate Change Program was formed in 2009 to build capacity of tribes to address climate change issues. Since the program’s launch, ITEP has led seven multi-day, tribally-focused trainings on climate-change adaptation planning. Each offering is tailored to the particular geographic region and is taught by an instructional team that includes staff from ITEP, federal agencies, universities and/or organizations, and most importantly the tribes themselves, who share their expertise and experience. These trainings provide an introduction to the adaptation planning process, and participants receive tools and resources, such as templates and spreadsheets, that tribes can use as they develop adaptation plans. One key feature of ITEP’s customized courses for climate change adaptation planning is the emphasis placed on traditional ecological knowledge during in the scoping and planning processes.


Other resources from ITEP’s Climate Change Program include the monthly Tribal Climate Change Newsletter, climate change fact sheets, and the Tribes & Climate Change website with basic climate change information, tribal profiles detailing climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts of tribes throughout the United States, a Resources Library, and much more. To learn more about the program and to access these resources, please visit our website at




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