Current Projects

Climate Resiliency in Indian Country

As the world confronts climate change and its disastrous effects, many institutions now look to Indigenous knowledge and practices to mitigate and adapt to these changes. Despite this, Native communities remain some of the most vulnerable to extreme weather events due to the lack of access to resources and infrastructure.

In response, through this project First Nations is catalyzing a critical mass of tribes and Native-led nonprofit organizations to conduct and operationalize climate change plans and amplify the power of traditional ecological knowledge.

As a $5 million Racial Equity Justice40 Project, this work will help these tribes and Native-led nonprofit organizations create or advance green jobs and better participate in and benefit from the Biden Administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which intends to allocate 40% of the overall funding for climate investments to disadvantaged communities.

Additional funding through the Racial Equity Justice40 Project is provided through the Regional Dialogues in Climate Resiliency grants.

In 2022, First Nations awarded 10 grants of up to $100,000 each to Native-led projects related to the development or implementation of climate resiliency planning.

This work is part of First Nations overall Stewarding Native Lands Program and the Climate Change and Environmental Justice Project. The grant support is made possible through funding from the Bezos Earth Fund.

2022 Grantees

Chugach Regional Resources Commission, Anchorage, AK: $100,000

This project will create a nature-based coastal armoring resiliency implementation plan in the face of climate variability which is causing more flooding events at the project location than mapped or predicted. The project will protect the State of Alaska’s only mariculture technical center and tribally-owned shellfish hatchery.

Kake Tribal Heritage Foundation, Kake, AK: $100,000

This project will increase local climate risk governance and capacity in Kake, Alaska, through creating a climate risk assessment and launching a hydroponics pilot initiative to climate proof access to healthy food.

Hopi Three Mesas, Inc, Second Mesa, AZ: $100,000

This project will support the creation of a mitigation plan for Hopi by increasing the knowledge of 10 Hopi youth who will become land stewards. Participants will address climate change by increasing their knowledge and facilitating response planning to minimize climate change. This plan will incorporate Hopi values, philosophies and language.

Native Public Media, Flagstaff, AZ: $100,000

This project will increase the resiliency of tribal nations through the development of public disaster and climate resiliency plans by Native broadcasters coordinating with first responders, tribal entities, and community members to prevent, prepare, mitigate, respond, and recover.

Seeds of Harmony, Inc., Round Rock, AZ: $72,000

This project will create a movement that will increase civic action to engage the community to plant the rain to retain water in watersheds and utilize the communities’ talents to mitigate impacts of drought and climate change. This project will also leverage the tribes’ Climate Adaptation Plan to reconnect to the land.

Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians, Ramona, CA: $100,000

This project will create and implement a climate/fire resiliency plan focused on identifying climate-related hazards, developing mitigation strategies, and implementing the plan through increased staff capacity. The climate resiliency plan will leverage FEMA Resources for Climate Resilience as well as traditional tribal practices to serve the Native community.

Aina Momona, Kaunakakai, HI: $100,000

This project will create needed opportunities to build the community’s capacity to mitigate climate-related disasters such as erosion and drought, while also increasing the food production potential of key subsistence resources that are currently in decline due to the climate crisis.

Sust'ainable Molokai, Kaunakakai, HI: $100,000

This project will complete the creation of the Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Adaptation and Resiliency Plan and the Molokai Community Energy Resiliency Adaptation Plan, which will lead to implementation, particularly with resources from the Justice40 initiative.

Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Watersmeet, WI: $100,000

This project will increase the community garden size and food source diversity thus promoting community independence in production of organic/no-till grown food through a partnership of Native knowledge, heirloom seed and appropriate modern tools. The organization is determined to promote climate resiliency in the community though the production of nutritionally dense foods on tribal land.

Brave Heart Society, Lake Andes, SD: $100,000

This project will support the creation of a tribal co-management plan through a multi-phased project that will research and assess the extent of water damage and contamination, and will inform a flood management plan for Bde Ihanke Lake.

Kul Wicasa Wopasi, Lower Brule, SD: $40,000

This project will create plans, demonstrations, and prototypes of community-centered climate resilient food systems on the Kul Wicasa Oyate Tribal Nation. It will leverage the knowledge and ambition of local youth to collaboratively lead the planning, design, and system development work, in partnership with local ecological knowledge bearers.