Source: COLLEGE OF MENOMINEE NATION submitted to
CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT, ADAPTATION, INNOVATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CAPACITY OF MENOMINEE FOREST-BASED RURAL COMMUNITY TO ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0218144
Grant No.
2009-38424-05496
Project No.
WISE-2009-00853
Proposal No.
2009-00853
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
ZY
Project Start Date
Aug 1, 2009
Project End Date
Jul 31, 2011
Grant Year
2014
Project Director
Cook, M.
Recipient Organization
COLLEGE OF MENOMINEE NATION
PO BOX 179, N172 HWY 47/55
KESHENA,WI 54135
Performing Department
Sustainable Development Institute
Non Technical Summary
Climate change is one such critical issue facing indigenous people, like the Menominee. The potential impacts of climate change on the livelihoods and cultures of indigenous and traditional communities, like the Menominee, remain virtually unknown. It has become evident that indigenous knowledge and perceptions must be incorporated into climate change, and more importantly indigenous people, like the Menominee, must exercise self-determination and be empowered to deal with climate change which threatens their traditional livelihoods and sustainably managed forestlands. The project will expand the examination of tribal/indigenous rural community capacity to adapt to uncertain futures through an assessment of the world known forest based Menominee Nation. Changes in the ecosystems supporting this community is beginning to occur, and climate change in conjunction with other socio-economic and political factors will continue to affect the livelihoods of the Menominee Nation. The purpose of this research project is to further the knowledge in understanding the present and future impacts of climate change on indigenous people, forest-based rural communities, and sustainable forestry. The project intends to identify options of adaptation to and mitigation of climate change of the Menominee, based on the integration of indigenous knowledge and scientific understanding, in order to reduce their vulnerability and to enhance their cultural resilience and adaptation capacity. Through this research, the project aim to offer some elements that will facilitate integration of socio-cultural considerations in programs and actions to address climate change impacts. Our objective is to use a community-based participatory research approach, a tribal college project team will conduct a formative assessment of local factors and issues that influence the potential impacts of climate change on the livelihoods, cultures, and natural environment of an indigenous (American Indian) community to guide the design and response of a culturally and locally relevant climate change adaptation strategies. Our methods involve nderstanding the local context of climate change requires meaningful community involvement. Often times research conducted in tribal communities have been designed, administered, and interpreted from outside researchers. Recent research has demonstrated the value of participatory research to support and engage tribal communities in climate change. Community-based participatory research engages tribal community members and researchers in all aspects of the research process. The approach focuses on the involvement of the community from the development of the research questions to the interpretation and dissemination of results. Our community-based participatory research focuses on issues which will be specifically identified by the tribal community. The research findings are then communicated to the tribal community so they may be used to make changes in environmental, social, cultural, and economic policy to adapt, mitigate, or address conditions.
Animal Health Component
100%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
100%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
90360993020100%
Goals / Objectives
College of Menominee Nation intends to carry out a tribally led assessment of the capacity of an Indigenous Forest Resource-Based Rural Community to adapt to uncertain futures brought on by climate change. The project is local in scope, but with regional, national, and international implications, by examining an indigenous forestry based community-Menominee Nation in northern Wisconsin with its world renowned sustainably managed forestlands. The goal of our research project is to improve the understanding of the potential impacts of climate change on the Menominee community, cultures, and ecosystems, and to define a local Menominee determined climate change monitoring, adaptation, and innovation measures. The research will quantify and qualify the impacts of climate change in support of sustainable forest management, community resilience and the development of adaptation strategies. The objectives are as follows, which are designed to gain: to improve understanding of the potential impacts of climate change on tribal communities and cultures and their associated ecosystems; to identify further research required to reduce the risks of climate change; and to develop appropriate adaptation, mitigation, and innovation measures. Our research project has potential impact on strengthening the forest industry of the United States, particularly providing a mechanism with which communities can begin to overcome, adapt to, and with cope with the problems that may be caused by changes in the forest management and industry from uncertain futures, such as climate change. By focusing on a number of sustainable development strategies, communities can develop unique plans for achieving self-reliance in ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable ways. Our project offers products, results, and outcomes that include: ●Sustainable development and community climate action strategy within the context of tribal forest-based rural communities. ●Climate change and community ecological economic development tools and strategies for forest communities ●Capacity assessment within forest communities. A promising approach to community capacity assessment is to create a whole new system of variables or factors for addressing uncertain futures, such as climate change within sustainable forest management. ●Appropriate research methods. Important for research in any rural community, especially indigenous communities is to determine the most appropriate research strategy and methods. Our research project intends use to community-based participatory research methods, premised on the involvement of community members in all aspects of the research project.
Project Methods
Our objective is to use a community-based participatory research approach. A tribal college research project team will conduct a formative assessment of local factors and issues that influence the potential impacts of climate change on the livelihoods, cultures, and natural environment of an indigenous community to guide the design and response of a culturally and locally relevant climate change adaptation strategies. Methods: Understanding the local context of climate change requires meaningful community involvement. Recent research has demonstrated the value of participatory research to support and engage tribal communities in climate change. Community-based participatory research engages tribal community members and researchers in all aspects of the research process. The approach focuses on the involvement of the community from the development of the research questions to the interpretation and dissemination of results. Our community-based participatory research focuses on issues which will be specifically identified by the tribal community. The research findings are then communicated to the tribal community so they may be used to make changes in environmental, social, cultural, and economic policy to adapt, mitigate, or address conditions. The project will facilitate the understanding and addressing climate change concerns and issues through techniques that identify the concerns or issues around climate change including community workshops and a community background report on climate change. The project will conduct research and data collection that includes community members and researchers. The analysis and interpretation of data will be conducted by the Research Team along with project partners. Interviews will be conducted with tribal members, which will allow people to share their experiences, stories, attitudes, and perceptions. An assessment of factors will be compiled to produce a broad synopsis of the context of climate change. This inventory will examine climate change impacts on the tribal community by quantifying select impacts and identifying areas that are high risk from projected climate change. The results of the research will be used to facilitate the implementation of actions and further study and monitoring to address climate change issues facing the tribal community. A case study will include assessment of factors regarding climate change, and include common indicators reflective of the concerns past and future across the tribal community. Evaluation will occur at all stages of the research project, at the beginning, during, and after the project. Formative evaluations will be used to strengthen or improve the research, examine the delivery of the research, the quality of its implementation, and assessment of organizational context, personnel, and procedures. The research team and project partners will be involved in the final evaluation. The evaluation will look at the outcomes, study results, and the process through which the research project was carried out. Evaluation and a case study report based on findings will be an element of the final evaluation.

Progress 08/01/09 to 07/31/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: This final narrative report presents the summary of a study on the Menominee Nation, its community, forest, and culture to identify climate change impacts and possible actions to increase the communities' resilience to climate change. A task of this study was to identify issues that were likely to affect the vulnerability of the Menominee people, tribe and forest, and to address gaps in knowledge in other climate research efforts. Another task of the study was identify sustainable forest management practices that support adaptation, monitoring, and mitigation of climate impacts. Scoping research was conducted via the internet, College library, publications and database to identify what was available in terms of documentation on; impacts of climate change on tribal/indigenous communities and forest related livelihoods; and Menominee Tribal-specific information related to research, policies, and activities. A product is a reference source of literature relevant to Menominee, other tribal and indigenous communities, and forestry as it relates to the topic of climate change. Student interns conducted interviews with Menominee tribal members and affiliates to contribute to understanding perceptions of climate change and its impacts. The interviews were based on discussion questions on climate change observations and projected impacts; effects on the forest and forest-based livelihoods; recommended actions to address climate impacts. Products of the interviews include 30 video interviews and transcriptions; NVIVO qualitative research software classification, sort, and arrangement of interview information and use of NVIVO software to identify themes,insights and to develop project conclusions; 12 minute video summarizing Menominee perceptions of climate change interviews; 4 students trained in conducting community interviews and producing videos for education, scientific, and cultural information; and 1 student trained in NVIVO qualitative research software. SDI facilitated workshops for the Menominee community to garner information from community stakeholders on observed or anticipated impacts of climate change on forest-based livelihoods and the actions the tribe might propose in order to mitigate or adapt to such impacts. The SDI facilitators used a variety of participatory methods to stimulate experiential learning as well as short presentations to engage project participants in learning about climate change concepts and expressing their concerns and perceptions about how climate change could affect or is affecting their forest-based livelihoods. The participants were given the opportunity to share the knowledge they had acquired, whether through research, or through on the ground observation. Products of the workshops include: defining a Menominee community participatory approach to the workshops which continues to be refined and utilized; final report which will identify existing and planned climate impact adaptation, mitigation, and monitoring activities; identify sustainable forest management that facilitate and support resiliency of forest-based community livelihoods; summarize interviews and workshop findings. PARTICIPANTS: College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute served as lead for this climate research project. All staff within the Sustainable Development Institute provided support for this research project. Melissa Cook, Principal Investigator and Director of the Sustainable Development Institute led the organization, management, and community relations for the project. She served as a lead researcher for scoping activities, interviews, and community workshops. Dr. William Van Lopik served as our sustainability expert, social science based methodology guide, and researcher in cultural geography and cultural landscapes structure of the research. Beau Mitchell, Sustainability Coordinator worked closely with our 1862 partner, climate science experts, indigenous peoples, and other tribal/indigenous climate change efforts to design interviews, and design the community participatory workshop process. Dr. Mary Emery, formerly of Iowa State University served as our 1862 partner, and provided us community based methodology expertise and technical assistance for our community based participatory methods. Various Sustainable Development Institute provided multimedia support in developing the videos and web based dissemination material. Various students worked on the project conducting interviews and guiding NVIVO qualitative software application. Larry Merculief, Alaskan Aleut provided consulting services to guide our cultural perspective data collection and analysis, to facilitate workshops, and present on impacts of climate change on his Aleut community. Iowa State University served as our 1862 partner, as required in the Tribal College Research Grants Program. USDA Forest Service provided research support through our FS Partnership and its Liaison detailed to College of Menominee Nation and Forest Service Social Scientist detailed to College of Menominee Nation for two months. Dr Robin Kimmerer, SUNY ESF Center for Native Peoples assisted in guiding interdisciplinary research combining modern and native science and using TEK in the process of framing new research in climate impacts. College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute coordinated all climate research and education efforts that enhanced the collaborators and contacts for this research study. NASA supported the 12 minute video and interview collection. USDA NRCS supported education efforts on carbon sequestration for tribes in Wisconsin. American Indian/Alaskan Native Working Group provided support to organize a Menominee Community Gathering on Climate Change. Sustainable Development Institute staff and student interns had the opportunity to be trained in community based participatory methods, NVIVO qualitative software, community interview techniques and protocols, and climate science. TARGET AUDIENCES: The Climate Research project on Menominee was designed to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change on the Menominee forest-based community livelihoods; to identify strategies and actions to facilitate and support efforts to address climate impacts; to enhance relationships among Menominee Nation and climate scientists; and to make effective and needed representation about impacts of climate change on tribal communities at local, regional, and international arena. Within this end in mind, this research project served the Menominee Nation and its tribal members directly facing impacts by climate change on their lands; other tribal and indigenous groups facing climate impacts on their lands and people; policymakers and leaders with responsibilities and interests in rural development, forestry, agriculture, natural resource management, community and social development, and climate change; non-governmental and community-based organizations working with indigenous people, forests, forest users and/or on climate change issues; government technical staff working with tribal and indigenous people, forests and forest users and/or climate change; technical assistance and funding agencies working with tribal and indigenous people, forests and forest users, and/or climate change; and educational institutions and researchers working with indigenous communities, studying sustainable forest management, and/or Menominee Nation or Menominee forest. Through our workshops, climate scientists provided presentations to the Menominee Community and College of Menominee Nation students related to climate science, climate change, and climate impacts on the region. Student internships were provided to College of Menominee Nation students to participate in the climate research project and work closely with visiting scientists. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
The research project overall goal was to enhance the current state of research on climate change and its impacts, and more specifically research on and for tribal/indigenous communities and to address the relatively little research attention to indigenous knowledge of climate variability or assessment of relevance of this knowledge for adaptation, monitoring, or mitigation strategies. Tangible outcomes and impacts include: the identification of existing, planned, and needed strategies, actions, and practices for adaptation, monitoring, and mitigation of forest-based livelihoods on Menominee to the impacts of climate change; identification of the benefits, values, and practices of Menominee sustainable forest management that support resiliency to climate impacts; recommendations were drafted to share with tribal members, tribal leaders, policymakers, climate scientists and experts about supporting tribal forest based community livelihoods in the context of climate change impacts on Menominee Nation and Great Lakes Tribes; raised awareness of about the impacts of climate change on the Menominee forest-based community livelihoods amongst persons participating in the interviews and workshops and confirmed by an evaluations of the workshops; engaged National stakeholders and climate experts in a dialogue on the opportunities and relevancy of using indigenous knowledge in the process of framing research and actions for adaptation, monitoring, or mitigation strategies thereby creating networks; and analysis of findings, needs and gaps created the basis for recommending strategies to increase the resilience of rural tribal community forest-based livelihoods to climate change. An important and compelling finding from the research was the confirmation of Menominee's sustainable forest management practices and values as essential component of resiliency to climate impacts. This sustainable forest management tradition is the base for the Menominee ecological, social and economic values of the forest and encompasses many considerations including biodiversity, cultural values, wildlife habitat, water, soil conservation, visual aesthetics, recreation, economic ideals, wetlands, air quality, fisheries, forest products, science and research. Sustainable forest management as practiced and valued by the Menominee is necessary for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Menominee monitor their forest to ensure the goals for balancing the cultural, ecological, social, and economic values are achieved. Close monitoring by our natural resource managers and tribal members have revealed that impacts from climate-related variability, phenomena, and weather patterns are affecting the forest. However, it is unclear in all instances if these changes have been observed over a long period or cyclical occurrences. Observations of Menominee tribal members are consistent with statements regarding climate impacts for the region, confirming that climate variability are impacting forest ecosystems and the livelihoods dependent on them.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 08/01/09 to 07/31/10

Outputs
College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute, in collaboration with Iowa State University and USDA Forest Service is conducting a community-based participatory research project to assess Menominee community perceptions of factor and issues that influence the impact of climate change on the Menominee community and natural environment. To date the following activities have been accomplished 1) a research team has been organized and the team has coordinated the research plan, protocol, and process; 2) A Community Workshop on Climate Change was held to introduce the project and the topic of climate change; 3) A review of trends, issues, and perceptions were conducted of relevant stakeholders; 4) 30 community interviews have been conducted, with further interviews in process; 4) an inventory of factors relevant to Menominee and climate change is being summarized; and 5) student research internship. Upcoming activities include a) continuing community interviews; b) completing inventory of factors to climate change; c) continuing student research internship; d) conducting community dialogue, vision sessions, and risk mapping; e) dissemination of project findings; and f) conduct evaluation of project. PRODUCTS: A research team has been organized that include College of Menominee Nation faculty and staff, USDA Forest Service foresters and scientists, Iowa State University social scientist, and Menominee community members and natural resource professionals. A Climate Change Community Workshop was held, which brought in an Alaskan Aleut to discuss his community experiences and relate climate change to culture and sustainability, along with Forest Service Climate Scientist to discuss relevant climate data, to lay the foundation for our Climate Change Research project. Menominee community interviews have been conducted at a total of 30 interviews, with more interviews scheduled. A 15 minute DVD has been compiled, in collaboration with other funding, to introduce the preliminary findings or themes that have emerged from the initial interviews. One student directly through this grant, but nine other students through other funding sources have been engaged in our Menominee Community Climate Change research project. Products to be completed by the end of the project include interviews, community dialogue workshop, written inventory of factors to climate change on Menominee community, and written case study or report on Menominee perceptions of climate change and impacts on their community. OUTCOMES: The intended outcome of the research is improve the understanding of the potential impacts of climate change on the Menominee Nation, to assist Menominee to define a "Menominee determined" climate change monitoring, adaptation, mitigation, and response measures, and to bring voice of American Indian/indigenous people to the climate change dialogue and data. Student internship experiences have been established exposing students to the topic of climate change through understanding the impacts on their own tribal community. Menominee community perceptions of climate change are being captured, with particular interest in the impact on the Menominee sustainable forest, which will have significant global implications and important data. DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES: For this project, results and products are being disseminated to key target audiences. Dissemination includes workshops to the Menominee Community and creating of introductory DVD on Menominee perceptions of climate change. Further dissemination activities will include web based material of final products and reports, presentations of findings to the Menominee community, and presentations of findings at relevant conferences. FUTURE INITIATIVES: This project is laying the foundation for further research topics on climate change for Menominee forestlands, community, and education, for tribal communities and climate change, for indigenous knowledge and experiences for climate change, and for the need to address social and community elements of climate change that are often overlooked in the climate change research and data. Activities of this project will guide further information needs and projects on climate change, particularly for Menominee community.

Impacts
The results of this research will be used to facilitate the implementation actions and further research to address climate change and develop adaptive and mitigation strategies. The intent is to identify many of the perceptions, actions, and strategies that may be decided upon to address the local tribal community issues related to climate change.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period