Webinar Invitation: Spotlight on Tribal Climate Adaptation in the Mountain States
A Climate and Health Learning Community Event
Thursday, March 28, 2019 from 3-4 pm ET
Date and Time
Thursday, March 28, 2019 from 3-4 pm ET
(Event begins at 2pm CT, 1pm MT, 12 pm PT, and 11 am AK time)

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is pleased to announce an upcoming webinar spotlighting two Tribes in the Mountain States: the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in Idaho and Blackfeet Nation in Montana. This webinar will describe how climate change has impacted these Tribes and their health, and how the Tribes are leading climate adaptation work to help respond to these impacts.

The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes are located in Southeast Idaho on the Fort Hall Reservation along the banks of the Snake, Blackfoot, and Portneuf Rivers. In 2017, with funding from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Tribes completed a comprehensive Climate Change Assessment and Adaptation Plan for the Snake and Salmon River basins to prepare for impacts to ecosystem services that form the basis of their Tribal lifeways and economy. The primary focus of this discussion will be the importance of effective assessment and planning processes, with a specific example of developing climate mitigation measures for at-risk ecosystem services the Tribal members rely on. Based on the critical need to protect endangered species, the example will focus on Climate Change mitigation measures for Chinook salmon, a species that helped shape the community's unique heritage and sustained the Shoshone and Bannock peoples from time immemorial.

The Blackfeet Nation is home of Glacier National Park, the Rocky Mountains, and over 17,531 enrolled Tribal members. In April 2018, the Blackfeet Nation completed their first ever climate change adaptation plan. The webinar discussion will focus on one of the main adaption goals from the plan: reducing the frequency of higher intensity floods in order to reduce habitat and property damage due to the critical damage flooding can cause. The changing climate has also brought heavy snowfall, flooding, and wildfires. These types of extreme weather have increased the risk of injury, illness, and in some cases, death. By 2018, Blackfeet Nation issued a state of emergency since people, cattle, and infrastructures were in danger. Consistent below zero temperatures and heavy snow disrupted power, water supply, transportation, and communication systems, making it difficult to maintain medical access and emergency response services. Cattle suffered as well, some freezing to death. Following the difficulties of a harsh winter, spring and summer bring their own challenges, including run-off and flooding, snow melts, changes to precipitation patterns, and summer stream flow decreases. Addressing climate change's impacts to water quality and quantity are high priorities for Blackfeet Nation, as the Tribe's risk and vulnerability are great.

This webinar will include presentations from Daniel Stone (Shoshone-Bannock Tribes), Policy Analyst at Shoshone-Bannock Tribes' Fish and Wildlife Department, and Gerald Wagner (Blackfeet Nation), Director of the Blackfeet Environmental Office. Following the presentations, the webinar will include time for Q&A and discussion. Please come prepared to ask questions or share your own insights and experiences! Learning community members are encouraged to give and take, share information, and build relationships with each other and the presenters.

This webinar is hosted as part of the Climate and Health Learning Community. The webinar is open to the public and anyone is also invited to join the learning community to receive information about future events. Signing up for the webinar will add you automatically to the learning community listserv. The learning community is part of the Climate Ready Tribes initiative, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each person who attends at least two learning community webinars will earn a professional development certificate.

Daniel Stone is an enrolled member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and a lifelong Idaho resident. He received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Idaho State University in 2004 and his Juris Doctor from the University of Idaho, College of Law in 2007. Being accepted to the Idaho State Bar Association as a licensed attorney fulfilled Daniel's lifelong dream of advocating for Idaho’s wild places and defending his Tribes’ treaty rights to access those places. Daniel has spent the past eleven years working with the Tribes’ Fish and Wildlife Department to develop and implement effective natural resource management practices, with a particular emphasis on the restoration of Chinook salmon fisheries in Idaho’s Salmon River basin.

Gerald Wagner has been Program Director for the Blackfeet Environmental Office for the last 20 years. An enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation, Mr. Wagner received an associate's degree in Math and Science from Little Big Horn Community College and studied at Montana State University majoring in Biology and minoring in Native American Studies. He has supervised various environmental media grants ranging from Air Quality, Water Quality, Wetlands, Solid Waste, Radon, and Lead Paint, to Non-Point Source and Leaking Underground Storage Tanks. He serves as one of 27 Tribal Environmental representatives to Region Eight EPA offices in Denver and is Montana's Tribal environmental representative to the American Indian Environmental Office in Washington, DC. These two committees work hand in hand to help resolve national and regional Tribal environmental concerns and try to impact environmental policy and increase the funding that supports Tribal environmental programs.

This webinar is open to any interested person, but is likely most relevant for anyone who works in areas related to Tribal climate health. This may include environmental health workers, program directors, program planners, community health workers, researchers, care providers, and others working in areas that overlap with Tribal climate health concerns - who either work in indigenous communities or work as at partner organizations or agencies. Climate change is connected to various health issues as diverse as malnutrition, injuries, mental health, respiratory health, and extreme weather. Tribal communities experiencing climate change impacts, implementing climate change programs, or considering future activities are specially invited and encouraged to attend. Although this webinar focuses on Tribes in the Mountain States, it is intended to share valuable information and lessons learned that may be widely applicable to Tribes in other areas as well.

Learning Objectives
  • Describe how climate change is impacting the health and general wellness of two Tribes in the Mountain States region
  • Describe how two Tribes are addressing climate change and its impacts in their communities

Signing up for the webinar will automatically add you to the Climate and Health Learning Community. However, if you are unable to attend the webinar but would like to sign up for the community only, please click the link directly above.
More information on the Climate Ready Tribes project can be found on the NIHB website climate pages and the new project fact sheet. If you would like your Tribe's climate work to be highlighted in a webinar or you want to share your expertise, please email aaljanabi@nihb.org !
National Indian Health Board | 202.507.4070