Skip to main content

Tribal Climate Adaptation Strategies and Approaches

Climate change has impacted and will continue to impact indigenous peoples, their lifeways and culture, and the natural world upon which they rely, in unpredictable and potentially devastating ways. Many climate adaptation planning tools fail to address the unique needs, values and cultures of indigenous communities.

This Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu, which was developed by a diverse group of collaborators representing tribal, academic, intertribal and government entities in the Great lakes (Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan), provides a framework to integrate indigenous and traditional knowledge, culture, language and history into the climate adaptation planning process.

Developed as part of the Climate Change Response Framework, the Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu is designed to work with the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS) Adaptation Workbook, and as a stand-alone resource. The Menu is an extensive collection of climate change adaptation actions for natural resource management, organized into tiers of general and more specific ideas. It also includes a companion Guiding Principles document, which describes detailed considerations for working with tribal communities.

While this first version of the Menu was created based on Ojibwe and Menominee perspectives, languages, concepts and values, it was intentionally designed to be adaptable to other indigenous communities, allowing for the incorporation of their language, knowledge and culture. Primarily developed for the use of indigenous communities, tribal natural resource agencies and their non-indigenous partners, this Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu may be useful in bridging communication barriers for non-tribal persons or organizations interested in indigenous approaches to climate adaptation and the needs and values of tribal communities.


The tribal adaptation menu is designed to be compatible with climate adaptation planning processes, such as the Adaptation Workbook published in the Forest Adaptation Resources guidebook. This resource may be useful to bridge communication barriers for non-tribal persons or organizations interested in indigenous approaches to adaptation and the needs and values of diverse tribal communities.


Using the Adaptation menu as part of the Adaptation Workbook framework may help land managers create an adaptation plan.
Release Notes

Contact the Northern Forests Climate Hub to learn more about this content.




Researcher, Extension, Producer, Land Manager, Other

Time Investment:




Spatial Scale:


Time Scale:


Tool Developers:

This tool was created by a core team of collaborators, representing a variety of organizations: the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, and others.