Spotlight on Climate Resiliency in Indian Country Community Partners

In July 2022, First Nations launched our Climate Resiliency in Indian Country project to support the development or implementation of climate resilience plans. Grantees projects range from climate proofing infrastructure and services, to emergency response and preparedness. We’re excited to share updates on three of the 11 grantees, including Aina Momona, Kul Wicasa Wopasi, and Kake Tribal Heritage Foundation.

Aina Momona

Aina Momona, based in Kaunakakai Hawaii, is dedicated to achieving environmental health and sustainability through restoring social justice and de-occupying Hawaiian lands. Their work is grounded in combatting climate change and increasing food security through the revitalization of traditional food practices. For this project they’re working to train young Native Hawaiian leaders in the skills needed to revegetate eroded and degraded areas around Moloka’i. Since July they’ve implemented bi-monthly classes that give community members knowledge on invasive species removal, native plant identification, and erosion control. In the next few months they’ll introduce classes focused on traditional food production and land stewardship. Their goal is to build a local workforce of Native community members that can combat climate issues swiftly and effectively.

Kul Wicasa Wopasi

On the banks of the mighty Missouri one can find this Indigenous youth-led non-profit dedicated to community-based research. Kul Wicasa Wopasi, based on the Lower Brule Indian Reservation, aims to give community members the opportunity to ask and answer questions that are important to climate resilient food systems and food sovereignty. Through this project they’re working to create plans, demonstrations, and prototypes of climate-resilient food systems that can be utilized by the Kul Wicasa Oyate Tribal Nation. Over the past few months community members have designed, built, and tested initial food system prototypes. Now they’ll work with local ecological knowledge holders to draft a plan for broad implementation of these climate-resilient food systems. Through this project they hope to promote food sovereignty and a sustainable way of living for their Tribal Nation.

Kake Tribal Heritage Foundation

Kake Tribal Heritage Foundation in Kake, Alaska, was started in 2017 with the intention to enhance and enrich the Tlingit culture and education of youth. Since their start they have been working to celebrate and sustain Tlingit culture through the promotion of traditional foods and food security. For this project they are climate-proofing access to food in their small and remote community using hydroponics. Through collaborative efforts with the Organized Village of Kake and Kake Tribal Corporation they’re working to develop a comprehensive climate resiliency plan that incorporates risk assessment and adaptation. They hope to build local climate resilience capacity and ultimately become food secure in the face of climate change.

Learn more about the Climate Resiliency in Indian Country project and the additional community partners.