Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment: Integrating Scientific and Transitional Ecological Knowledge
The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) is an intertribal natural resource agency that assists its 11 member Ojibwe (also known as Chippewa, or Anishinaabe) tribes in the implementation and protection of off-reservation treaty rights to hunt, fish, and gather in territories ceded (or sold) to the United States.
To understand how climate change might affect treaty resources, GLIFWC climate change staff are in the process of completing a climate change vulnerability assessment of over 60 beings/species of interest to GLIFWC’s member tribes across the Ceded Territories. This assessment is unique in that it seeks to integrate Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Scientific Ecological Knowledge (SEK) to examine the vulnerability of beings/species to climate change. TEK, also known as traditional knowledge or indigenous knowledge, is expressed orally, through languages, stories, songs, and laws. One way to view it is a knowledge system that reflects an intergenerational world view of interrelationships with the environment. This integration of TEK and SEK will make results of the assessment more useful to our member tribes, strengthen our understanding of how beings/species may respond to climate change, and help GLIFWC respond to climate change in accordance with the cultural values of its member tribes.