Summary Report from Tribal and Indigenous Communities within California

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Goode, Ron, Shasta Gaughan, Marissa Fierro, Don Hankins, Keir Johnson-Reyes, Beth Rose Middleton, Teri Red Owl, and Randy Yonemura
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This inaugural Tribal and Indigenous Communities Report within the Fourth California Climate Change Assessment showcases tribes’ innovative strategies and actions to address climate change. The report defines key climate impacts at the nexus of tribal lands, histories, and current conditions, describes stressors that amplify climate impacts within tribal communities, and proposes overall recommendations for future Assessment(s), including areas of study, climate actions that incorporate traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), and expanding areas of state/tribal collaboration. A focus of this report is TEK and related collaborative work with Tribes. The included case studies illustrate how TEK is unique to each tribe and underpins many tribes’ environmental management and community and economic development approaches. TEK-based methods are gaining a revitalized position within a larger statewide toolset to combat the causes and effects of climate change by tribal and non-tribal stakeholders alike. Featured writings demonstrate the effectiveness of tribes’ TEK-based scientific practices to solve some of the most acute climate change impacts. The importance of maintaining TEK is not isolated to environmental and ecological improvements. These ancient, traditional practices are closely linked to climate resilience across tribal cultural health, identity, and continuity. Cultural practices and traditional land management are also linked to improving physical and mental health among tribal members. Conducting meadow, watershed, and fisheries restorations, building sustainable energy infrastructure, and deploying resources to work more closely with outside agencies on projects are among an extensive array of tribal actions to reverse the causes of climate change and exert bold management to restore tribal lands and the shared environment. This report is the first outcome of a mutual invitation between tribes and the state to share learning with an urgent focus on climate action, and the starting point of a new productive climate conversation between tribes and the State of California.


Goode, Ron, Shasta Gaughan, Marissa Fierro, Don Hankins, Keir Johnson-Reyes, Beth Rose Middleton, Teri Red Owl, and Randy Yonemura. 2018. “Summary Report from Tribal and Indigenous Communities within California.” SUM-CCCA4-2018-010. California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment. Sacramento, CA: California Governer’s Office of Planning and Research, California Natural Resources Agency, and the California Energy Commission.