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Climate Education Centering Indigenous Knowledge

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A number of our initiatives create climate education materials and trainings centered on Indigenous knowledge systems. 

Tribal and Indigenous communities' experiences of COVID-19 and climate change


We collaborated with educators and curriculum developers to create teaching modules focused on Tribal and Indigenous communities' experiences of COVID-19 and climate change, including ethical considerations, case studies, and narratives integrated into the curricula. The modules are geared towards delivery as part of undergraduate courses, including at tribal colleges and universities. The teaching modules are publicly available through the Natural Hazards Center website, and disseminated more broadly to promote equitable emergency management education.

Download the curriculum here.

Climate Education Project  

During the first half of 2021, the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN) convened a Council of Indigenous scientists and educators (Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Program Fostering Indigenous Relationships & Education  (CAMPFIRE) Council) to inform a knowledge sharing network design, focused on climate education centering Indigenous Knowledge systems. The process included catalyzing support for Indigenous community and grassroots-initiated and -led educational projects. In the second half of 2021, after much discussion, input, and recommendations from the Council, the work was transformed into three key deliverables, with the hope that future Indigenous-serving climate education organizations may be better informed in the development of educational work through these publicly available open-access tools.


The key products available include:


  • A curated Indigenous Climate Education Literature project, including an annotated open-access bibliography for educators, students, and organizers.

  • An Indigenous Peoples (AI/AN & Native Hawaiian) population density map overlain with FEMA National Risk Indicator zones by county, as well as ecoregions for student/educator use; this will include both a printed version to share with collaborators, as well as an open-access online map.

  • A “Building a Fire” process to grow projects centered around core concepts of Relationality, Sovereignty, and Responsibility, in the establishment of ethical Indigenous partnership(s) and knowledge sharing, with a Turtle as the guiding metaphor.

The products are available through open-source and Creative Commons licensing.

 Access the website and products at:

There were several key lessons learned in the process. A project evaluation was conducted that detailed the successes and gaps, outcomes and impacts, and to provide recommendations for future knowledge sharing network projects. The purpose of sharing these recommendations is to support other organizations with lessons learned and considerations to improve future projects and knowledge sharing network activities.


  • Develop a robust process and criteria for vetting potential funders that looks at philanthropic organization boards, as well as program officers, to ensure a funder’s principles, values, and ethics are aligned with the grantee organization.

  • Secure up-front written agreement(s) between funder, grantee organization, and partners that clearly set the terms/language, expectations, power relationships, and boundaries of the work.

  • Strengthen grantee organization’s role as line of defense against breaches of trust and safety.

  • Provide professional facilitators for group processes or train staff to play this role.

  • Ensure that whatever on-line platform or process for digital sharing with partners and frontline communities is used is compatible with the technical capabilities and equally accessible to all partners and communities, and training is provided if necessary.

  • Indigenous-led knowledge sharing networks on climate education must place Relationality, Sovereignty, and Responsibility at the center of all planning, funding decisions, implementation plans, and outcomes.

Tribal and Indigenous Communities' Experiences of COVID-19 and Climate Change

Colorful drawing of a fire with wood underneath

Building a Fire

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