Increasing impacts from climate change are testing the resiliency of Native peoples and cultures throughout the West. This is exacerbated by more than a century of forced displacement and wealth extraction, marginalization through discriminatory policies and institutions, and land mismanagement by government agencies.
As sovereign peoples and nations whose waters and lands are integral to their traditions, livelihoods, and well-being, they are the first and most severely affected by both gradual and sudden onset of climate events, such as sea-level rise, droughts, heatwaves, and fires. Extreme climate events in the past few years have pushed many Native peoples and communities to the limit in their capacity to adapt to the new climate normal. Despite the rhetoric of racial equity in the public and philanthropic sectors, equitable policies and grantmaking practices that support the sovereignty of Tribal communities and territories in their implementation of climate and disaster resilience solutions remain aspirational.
Mainstream philanthropy remains inaccessible by Tribal communities and territories. For instance, only 0.15% and 0.3% of grantmaking by community foundations and large foundations, respectively, go to Native peoples and causes. Furthermore, wealth continues to be extracted from Tribal communities and Tribal foundations through state government-determined regulations that require them to give “back” their economic profits, while mainstream foundations are not obligated to give back to Tribes or government entities.
As Native peoples seek to advance their self-determination and sovereignty in the face of climate change, philanthropy can play an outsized role. Supporting the innovations born out of centuries of traditional knowledge, practices, and ingenuity in tribal communities and territories, allows us all to effectively mitigate, prepare for, and respond and recover from extreme climate events.
In this two-session series, you will:
- Understand climate risks and impacts facing Tribal communities and how they intersect with Tribal histories, sovereignty, land and water, cultures, and health and socioeconomic wellbeing
- Learn how philanthropy can be good partners with Tribal communities and territories in addressing climate resilience
- Gain tools to amplify and scale indigenous practices to address complex environmental crises
- Learn about opportunities for partnerships with Tribal communities, particularly within the context of climate and disaster resiliency
Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington, Groundworks New Mexico, Native Americans in Philanthropy, Philanthropy California, Philanthropy Colorado, Philanthropy Northwest, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and Smart Growth California/The Funders Network.