The White House Announces “The Climate Change Impacts & Indian Country” Webinar Series

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy - Office of Indian Energy

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy – Office of Indian Energy

WASHINGTON — Climate change is real. It impacts are world-wide. American Indians and Alaska Native feel the impact in Indian country.

In November 2013 President Barack Obama established the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience through an Executive Order.

The White House Office of Public Engagement and Council on Environmental Quality, in conjunction with the U.S. Departments of Energy, Agriculture, the Interior, Health and Human Services (DHS), Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is pleased to announce a webinar series entitled “The Climate Change Impacts and Indian Country.”

This webinar series will focus on topics and issues related to President Obama’s Executive Order.

The Task Force is charged by the President with providing recommendations on “removing barriers to resilient investments, modernizing federal grant and loan programs to better support local efforts, and developing the information and tools they need to prepare, among other measures.”

Indian country is represented on this Task Force by two tribal leaders: Chairwoman Karen Diver, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians in Minnesota, and Mayor Reggie Joule, Northwest Arctic Borough in Alaska.

The webinar series is an effort to support education and outreach to Indian Country and provides tribal leaders with an opportunity to give feedback to the Task Force.

Who Should Attend

Tribal leaders and staff, intertribal organizations, and other tribal stakeholders who are responsible for planning and implementing climate change mitigation, adaption, and resiliency measures for tribal communities.

 Why You Should Attend

• Learn about federal agency efforts to assess climate change impacts and vulnerabilities and programs to support tribal communities with climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency efforts.

• Hear from tribal leaders about ways they are working to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts in their communities.

• Provide direct feedback to Chairwoman Diver and Mayor Joule on recommendations for the Task Force to consider.


All of the webinars will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mountain time. There is no charge to participate in the webinars, but registration is required. To register, click on the webinar titles you are interested in attending:

April 3, 2014—Disaster Response and Recovery

Attendees will learn about the primary efforts of FEMA and DHS to evaluate, assess, and mitigate the impacts of climate change on their disaster recovery and response programs. Under the Stafford Act, Tribes are eligible to receive direct assistance from FEMA. Tribes can learn from FEMA and others’ efforts as they assess, plan, and implement disaster response and recovery plans impacted by a changing climate.

April 10, 2014—Built Systems and Other Infrastructure

The federal government, state governments, and many local governments are evaluating the impacts of climate changes on the built systems and infrastructure—roads, energy, electricity, telecommunications, water—that are critical to functioning communities, government activities, and public health and safety. Attendees will hear from several federal agencies about their assessments of climate change impacts on the built environment, planning efforts under way to mitigate those impacts, and implementing resilient systems to protect key infrastructure.

• April 24, 2014—Natural Resources and Agriculture 

Current climate change impacts are felt first in our natural world, and the challenges to protecting those natural resources are shared across all of Indian Country. Hearing from federal agencies that support tribal natural resource development and protection with their assessment of climate change impacts will give Tribes a broad understanding of those challenges and federal efforts to mitigate impacts and promote more resilient natural systems.

• May 1, 2014—Communities: Human Health and Community Development

The multi-agency Sustainable Communities program is one of many designed to support state, local, and tribal governments in planning activities to develop their communities “in more environmentally and economically sustainable ways.” Developing more sustainable communities is important to our national goals of strengthening our economy, creating good jobs now while providing a foundation for lasting prosperity, using energy more efficiently to secure energy independence, and protecting our natural environment and human health. Attendees will learn about other programs federal agencies have in place to help local communities with climate change impact assessments, mitigation, and adaption.

For more education and training opportunities and resources, including our tribal renewable energy webinar series, renewable energy online learning curriculum, tribal energy forums, and more, visit the DOE Office of Indian Energy website.


Disaster Response and Recovery Webinar

April 3, 2014 1:00PM to 2:30PM EDT
Built Systems and Other Infrastructure Webinar

April 10, 2014 1:00PM to 2:30PM EDT
Natural Resources and Agriculture Webinar

April 24, 2014 1:00PM to 2:30PM EDT

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