Support for Tribal Climate Adaptation across the 1854 Ceded Territory

Project Summary

Managing Minnesota’s aquatic and natural resources in a changing climate requires data, trusted partnerships, and the capacity to engage in continuous dialogue and learning about how climate changes are translating into climate impacts on ecosystems and people — and critically to understand the efficacy of actions intended to enhance climate resilience. This continuous, iterative nature of climate adaptation affords rich opportunities for knowledge sharing, monitoring, and evaluation of the characteristics, approaches and outcomes that lead to climate resilience. In the Midwest, many Tribes and Inter-Tribal entities are leaders in climate adaptation and are well into the implementation phase of their first adaptation plans, providing an opportunity to explore how and the extent to which resilience is being achieved through different adaptation strategies intended to protect ecosystem and cultural resources. In Northern Minnesota, the 1854 Treaty Authority and Bois Forte, Fond du Lac and Grand Portage Bands have six years of implementation experience following their plan release in 2016 and they are prepared to update this plan, incorporate new knowledge and evaluate progress toward resilience.

This collaborative project seeks to bring together a range of expertise and perspectives to assess and evaluate progress toward climate resilience across the 1854 Ceded Territory and to use this knowledge to co-develop an updated adaptation plan for the 1854 Treaty Authority and the Bois Forte, Grand Portage, and Fond du Lac reservations that incorporates different knowledge (e.g. climate data and tribal observations and stories) and fosters relationships required to develop knowledge and resources that are both useful and used.

The project team will:

  1. Evaluate progress, barriers to, and opportunities for adaptation following the first six years of implementation;
  2. Generate dynamically downscaled future climate projections for the 1854 Ceded Territory and incorporate these into an updated adaptation plan; and
  3. Co-produce an interactive data tool to share these data with tribal members, resource managers and other adaptation professionals in tandem with community engagement efforts designed to showcase the region’s progress toward community and ecosystem climate resilience.

 

Project activities and their alignment with the adaptation cycle

This project will position the 1854 Treaty Authority to leverage resources and investments in support of resilience activities that are becoming more readily available through state and federal funding opportunities. And, through increasing access to, and dissemination of, fundamental future climate data for the Lake Superior region this project has the potential to inform a range of decisions and investments seeking to be climate-ready. Advancing the understanding of adaptation plan development and monitoring and evaluation may help to strengthen and streamline adaptation planning investments being made in other parts of the state and the Great Lakes region.

The project team anticipates that this project will provide data, methods, and an evaluative framework for adaptation assessment that can be used by other Tribes, inter-Tribal entities, and adaptation practitioners. This project should be a strategic investment that can help advance the state of Minnesota’s climate work. The downscaled climate data and the corresponding data tool will serve as a proof of concept to support a broader, statewide effort to generate data for the entire state. The project team plans to make the climate data available for use by other researchers for input into other models (e.g., groundwater) and applications. The project aims to advance the field of adaptation and provide foundational knowledge that can be applied in other climate resilience and research applications.

    Project Team

    Amanda Farris headshot

    Amanda Farris
    Senior Program Manager 

     

    Nathan Meyer

    Nate Meyer 
    Associate Director

    Heidi Roop

    Heidi Roop 
    Director

    Photo of Erik Simula

    Erik Simula 
    Master's Student

     

    Hilarie Sorensent

    Hilarie Sorensen
    Climate Biologist
    1854 Treaty Authority 

    Tracy Twine

    Tracy Twine
    Assistant Professor
    University of Minnesota 

    Stefan Liess

    Stefan Liess
    Climate Researcher
    University of Minnesota 

     

    Photo of Elise Harrington

    Elise Harrington
    Assistant Professor
    University of Minnesota 
    Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs

    Joseph Bauerkemper

    Joseph Bauerkemper
    Associate Professor
    University of Minnesota Duluth

    Support

    1854 Treaty Authority

    Minnesota Sea Grant