Indigenous Peoples Lead Fight Against Climate Change

Tribal communities are preparing for climate impacts by drawing on their deep understanding of the relationship between humans and the natural environment.

Read Time: 1 minute

March 1, 2020, 7:00 AM PST

By Camille Fink


Swinomish Channel Washington

Kymberlee della Luce / Flickr

Indigenous communities across the country are leading the way in addressing climate change, which is directly affecting tribal lands, reports Nicola Jones. The tribes’ connections to natural resources and understanding of ecosystems have been integral in the development of forward-thinking practices and policies to protect the environment.

"These are communities that have relied on the land for generations, building an intimate knowledge of the natural cycles of plants, animals, and weather. Unlike the traditional Western worldview that humanity can and should seek dominion over the environment, indigenous populations tend to view humanity as part of an interconnected whole," writes Jones.

The Swinomish in Washington state, for example, have launched projects to protect salmon runs and restore oyster beds. "For the Swinomish, as for many indigenous groups, it makes little sense to talk about environmental health and human health separately; they are deeply intertwined, with community cohesion and traditional food security being equally vital," says Jones.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 in Yale Environment 360

Green bike lane with flexible delineators and textures paint in Hoboken, New Jersey

America’s Best New Bike Lanes

PeopleForBikes highlights some of the most exciting new bike infrastructure projects completed in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - PeopleforBikes

Aerial view of MBTA commuter rail station in Concord, Massachusetts among green trees

Massachusetts Zoning Reform Law Reaches First Deadline

Cities and towns had until January 31 to submit their draft plans for rezoning areas near transit stations to comply with a new state law.

February 1, 2023 - Streetsblog Mass

Green alley under construction

Green Alleys: A New Paradigm for Stormwater Management

Rather than shuttling stormwater away from the city and into the ocean as quickly as possible, Los Angeles is now—slowly—moving toward a ‘city-as-sponge’ approach that would capture and reclaim more water to recharge crucial reservoirs.

February 2, 2023 - Curbed

Covered pergolas for outdoor dining line the curb on Ballard Avenue, Seattle

Seattle Historic District Could Remove Street Dining

Despite the popularity of Ballard Avenue’s outdoor dining pergolas, some district board members argue the patios don’t match the district’s historic character.

February 7 - The Urbanist

Rendering of landscaped street with street trees and pedestrian sidewalk

South L.A. Complete Streets Project Back on Track

First proposed in 2015, the Broadway-Manchester redesign would add bike infrastructure, pedestrian improvements, trees, and other amenities.

February 7 - Urbanize LA

Spanish-style State Street commercial buildings in downtown Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara Expands ADU Program to Boost Housing

The city hopes that permitting larger ADUs and making adaptive reuse easier will help it meet its state-mandated goal of building over 8,000 new housing units by 2031.

February 7 - Noozhawk

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.