One of several critical first tasks of the Tribal Climate Health Project was to identify and connect with leaders and experts in climate change and health, particularly those with specific knowledge about climate health impacts and strategies in U.S. tribal communities. After extensive research and outreach, over 150 potential Advisory Group members were identified and contacted. While not all could attend the meeting, the response was enthusiastic. It seems there was already a growing sense that tribal climate health was an area in need of additional coordination, attention and collaboration. Partners involved in the Tribal Climate Health Project, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and lead by the Pala Band of Mission Indians, are eager to help address these needs.
The Kick-off Advisory Group web conference, held November 2, 2017, had over 40 participants ranging from tribal health professionals to representatives from various governmental agencies, non-profits, and university programs. The meeting was led by Prosper Sustainably, contracted by Pala to conduct the scope of work under the EPA grant. Prosper Sustainably provided an overview of the project objectives, activities and timeline, including the development of a website (tribalclimatehealth.org), which already features an extensive resource clearinghouse, and eventually will host other capacity building tools including an online training platform. Participants had a chance to review and provide feedback about the initial website, which will continue to add features, content and functionality throughout the project period.
Future Advisory Group participation will help the project partners build curriculum, lesson plans and training videos aimed at increasing the level of climate change and health knowledge in tribal health professionals, among other activities. If you are a leader or expert in tribal climate health and have an interest in helping this project deliver meaningful capacity building tools to help tribes prepare for and respond to the health impacts of climate change, please contact Angie Hacker at firstname.lastname@example.org.