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Survey Evaluating Collaboration Between Indigenous Peoples and Climate Scientists

Survey Evaluating Collaboration Between Indigenous Peoples and Climate Scientists

The project seeks to improve the quality of interaction and cooperation between Tribes and Climate Science Organizations (CSOs) in the U.S. Tribes are Indigenous peoples, whether U.S. federally-recognized, state-recognized or un-recognized. CSOs, broadly construed, refer to any government agency, research university or organization, or NGO that seeks to provide climate science information that can be used by leaders, decision-makers and other representatives of communities and governments to assess and prepare for climate change.

This project is both Tribally co-led and involves Indigenous persons (Whyte and Caldwell) as lead-investigators. The project involves substantial training and professional growth experiences for Indigenous students at the College of Menominee Nation and training in Tribal collaboration and Indigenous research for non-Indigenous investigators and students associated with the Michigan State team. The project work and personnel are equally housed at the College of Menominee Nation and Michigan State. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation and ultimately aims to support Tribal empowerment to use climate science to support Indigenous self-determination and climate change planning.
A big part of this project involves learning more about the different ways that climate science organizations, especially those of federal agencies, but also NGOs and universities, have attempted to improve their interactions with Tribes. While many of us have personal experiences in these interactions, in this project we wanted to see if a survey could provide at least some important insights and evidence for understanding how well collaborations are working. We hope in a future iteration of the project to also develop more contextualized case studies and testimonies. I feel that often as Indigenous peoples we do not have the chance to take advantage of high quality survey research in Tribally-led studies, so I see this study as making headway in expanding the types of research Tribes can design and benefit from.

We are asking for you to offer us about a half hour of your time or less to complete a survey that will support the development of strategies to ensure that these engagements are as ethical and effective as possible on behalf of Tribal empowerment. Over the course of the last year, over forty Native and non-Native individuals who have participated in these collaborations on behalf of Tribes and CSOs have helped us craft this survey which focuses on impressions of the potential benefits and harms of these experiences, opportunities for training related to them, and ways to evaluate the success of that training.

We will keep in touch with you as the study unfolds so that you are aware of the findings, and hopefully your work will benefit from them.

We ask that you respond based on your perspective as an employee of a Tribe or CSO, and your answers will remain completely anonymous. That is, there is one survey for people who have worked on the Tribal side of a collaboration between one or more Tribes and one or more climate science organizations; there is another survey for people who worked on the CSO side of such collaborations.

You can fill out the survey online by clicking here (you will be directed to the correct Tribal or CSO survey):

Or, if you wish, you may reply to this email or contact Scott Kalafatis ( to request a printed version of the survey or to discuss any questions or concerns you might have about this effort.
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