The Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup (CTKW) is a group of indigenous persons, staff of indigenous governments and organizations, and experts with experience working with issues concerning traditional knowledges. The CTKW developed these Guidelines through a collaborative effort with funding support from individual tribal governments, the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative, the Northwest Climate Science Center and the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station.

Workgroup Participants (in alphabetical order):

Federal partners involved with reviewing and commenting on this document:

  • Monique Fordham, US Geological Survey
  • Frank Kanawha Lake, USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station.

Suggested Citation: Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup (CTKW). 2014. Guidelines for Considering Traditional Knowledges in Climate Change Initiatives. https://climatetkw.wordpress.com

Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup Bios

Ann Marie Chischilly is the Executive Director of the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) at Northern Arizona University. She oversees ITEP’s national tribal programs in; climate change, air quality, solid waste, student outreach, sustainable energy, water quality/water rights, food sovereignty and environmental policy.  In May 2013, Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell appointed Ms. Chischilly to the Federal Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resources Science. She is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation (Diné); earned her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and Masters of Law in Environmental Law (LL.M) from Vermont Law School. She is licensed in Arizona and has practiced in state, district, and federal courts.

Patricia Cochran serves as Executive Director of the Alaska Native Science Commission, an organization that brings together research and science in partnership with Alaska Native communities.  Ms. Cochran also served as Chair of the 2009 Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change and is Co-Chair of the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Network on Climate Change.  She is the past Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, an international organization representing 160,000 Inuit of Alaska, Canada, Russian and Greenland; former Chair of the Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat to the 8 nation, Arctic Council; and former Arctic Representative to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Mike Durglo Jr serves as the Tribal Historic Preservation Department Head and has been a leader in climate change work for nearly a decade. He facilitated the development of a Flathead Reservation Climate Change Strategic Plan for the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes (CSKT). He shares his experience and knowledge of climate adaptation planning at workshops and seminars throughout the US and Canada. After completing the plan, he continued to build on the work by diving deep into the perspectives of the elders and integrating traditional knowledge into the plan. Particularly unique is Michael’s all-inclusive and open approach towards climate planning. He established monthly meetings of a Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC) and welcomes all stakeholders, both tribal and non-tribal. This opened conversations among multiple jurisdictions, connecting people and adding value to solving the problems that will be faced from the impacts of climate change into the future. In 2016, Michael received the White House Champion of Change award, in 2017; He received the Climate Leadership Award for Natural Resources. Michael brings climate education and action to the youth of the CSKT by establishing the Environment Advocates for Global and Local Ecological Sustainability, otherwise known as the “EAGLES”. These youth are learning about and taking responsibility for their environment. They are starting young to integrate environmental considerations into their lives. Michael served in the Montana Army National Guard from 1981 to 1987 and is currently a member of the Mission Valley Honor Guard.

Preston Hardison is a policy analyst in the Tulalip Natural Resources Office of Treaty Rights. He has worked in traditional knowledge and cultural resource policy issues for over two decades. He represents the Tulalip Tribes as a negotiator at the United Nations in the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing, and the World Intellectual Property Organization. He began working on climate change issues in the late 1980s, and is currently focusing on the impacts of climate change on indigenous peoples and their strategies for adapting to these impacts. He works to promote respect for human rights in climate change adaptation and natural resources management and to defend Tulalip treaty rights at risk.

Joe Hostler is an Environmental Protection Specialist with the Yurok Tribe Environmental Program (YTEP) which is located on the Lower Klamath River in NW California. He is an enrolled Member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde with additional ancestory from the Yurok, Tolowa, & Karuk Tribes. He participates in his tribal ceremonies as a traditional singer, dancer and drum maker. Joe has a B.S. in Tribal Natural Resource Management Planning & Policy from Humboldt State University and is also an eager student of Traditional Knowledge (TK). Joe takes pride in gathering knowledge from Tribal Elders and passing this knowledge onto Tribal youth.

Kathy Lynn coordinates the Pacific Northwest Tribal Climate Change Project, a collaboration between the University of Oregon’s Environmental Studies Program and the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station. The project focuses on building an understanding how climate change may impact the culture and sovereignty of indigenous communities in the United States. Kathy is an adjunct faculty researcher in the University of Oregon’s Environmental Studies Program, and has a Masters degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon.

Gary S. Morishima is the Natural Resources Technical Advisor to the President, Quinault Indian Nation, a position he has held since 1974. Since 1969, he has worked as CEO of MORI-ko LLC. Morishima is an Executive Board Member on the Intertribal Timber Council, since 1976. He currently serves on numerous additional boards and workgroups, including the Department of Interior Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resources Science, USFWS Native American Policy Team and the Pacific Salmon Commission Coho and Selective Fishery Evaluation Committees. Morishima has also served as a former member and chair of Salmon Technical Team for the Pacific Fishery Management Council, former member of the Intergovernmental Advisory Committee for the Northwest Forest Plan, former member of the Salmon & Steelhead Advisory Commission, and former member of the US Forest Service Tribal Relations Task Force and Implementation Team. Through his body of work, Morishima has been awarded the Pride in Excellence Award from the Boeing Company and the Earle Wilcox National Award for Outstanding Contributions to Indian Forestry. Morishima holds a B.S. in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Science & Environmental Management from the University of Washington.

Don Motanic, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, has been a Technical Specialist with the Intertribal Timber Council (ITC) since 1995. He retired from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 2012 after spending 34 years as a forest engineer at the Yakama Agency, forest manager at Umatilla and then the Spokane Agency and regional forester in Billings, MT.  His career started in 1974 as a fire fighter working for the Seattle Water Department in the Seattle Watershed, North Bend, WA.  He earned his BS in Forest Engineering from the University of Washington in 1978.  He’s been an ITC representative on the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, and a past board member with organizations such as the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and the Wisdom of the Elders, Inc.

Jim St. Arnold, also known as Nigaanigiizhig, is an Ojibwe and wolf clan member from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in Michigan. He is a former tribal council member and chair for his tribe and has worked for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) for over 26 years as a Projects Director and TEK Coordinator. During his time with GLIFWC, he has worked with tribal elders from the 11 member GLIFWC tribes to gather information regarding non-medicinal uses of plants, discuss natural and man-made changes in harvesting areas, and develop Ojibwe language resource materials for tribal language programs.

Carson Viles graduated from the Robert Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon (UO) in 2013, and holds BA in Environmental Studies. Carson has worked as a research assistant for the Tribal Climate Change Project (TCCP) at the UO since 2011. Since 2009, Carson has worked with the UO’s Northwest Indian Language Institute (NILI) in numerous capacities. Notably, Carson has worked to revitalize Dee-ni’ Athapaskan languages. As a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians (CTSI) and a Tututni person, this cause is near to his heart. Carson was also responsible for co-authoring a set of recommendations for the Tulalip Tribes which are intended to guide North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NPLCC) policies and practices which involve traditional knowledges (TKs).

Garrit Voggesser, National Director of Tribal Partnerships, National Wildlife Federation, joined NWF in 2004 and works nationwide with tribes on a variety of wildlife, habitat, climate change, energy, water, and other conservation issues. Much of his work focuses on partnering with tribes to restore wild bison, restore and protect native habitat and wildlife on tribal lands, and ensure equitable support and funding for tribal natural resource conservation and climate adaptation efforts. Voggesser received his Ph.D. in American Indian and Environmental History from the University of Oklahoma

Kyle Powys Whyte holds the Timnick Chair in the Humanities at Michigan State University and is a faculty member of the Environmental Philosophy & Ethics graduate concentration. His primary research addresses moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples and the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and climate science organizations. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Dr. Whyte’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Northeast Climate Science Center and Spencer Foundation.

Daniel R. Wildcat is a Yuchi member of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma. He is director of the Haskell Environmental Research Studies (HERS) Center and professor of Indigenous and American Indian Studies at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. Dr. Wildcat received B.A. and M.A. degrees in sociology from the University of Kansas and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He has taught at Haskell for 27 years. Dr. Wildcat’s recent activities have revolved around forming the American Indian and Alaska Native Climate Change Working Group, recently renamed the Indigenous Peoples’ Climate Change Working Group: a tribal college-centered network of individuals and organizations working on climate change issues. His most recent book, Red Alert: Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge, suggests current global climate change issues will require the exercise of indigenous ingenuity-indigenuity-and wisdom if humankind is to reduce the ecological damage well underway.

Sue Wotkyns is the Climate Change Program Manager at the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP), Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, AZ. She has worked for ITEP since 2006 and leads ITEP’s Climate Change Program, which provides training, informational resources, and assistance to tribes throughout the U.S. on climate change issues. She served on the author team of the Third National Climate Assessment’s chapter on Indigenous Peoples, Lands and Resources.