A first-of-its-kind national event examines the impact of climate change on indigenous coastal cultures.
Hundreds of tribal leaders, witnesses, and scientists join climate experts and policymakers for A groundbreaking dialogue.
Five Regional Panels Share Climate Adaptation Strategies From Coastal Ecosystems Nationwide.
A Matter of Cultural Survival
"The cultural connection and treaty rights to harvest these things forever are tied to geographical location. If the resources move due to a changing climate, the cultural connection is broken."
Partners and Sponsors
Thank you for your support of the First Stewards Symposium. You are helping fund a vital exchange that will inform how we must adapt to our changing climate.
About the Symposium
The symposium will bring together four regional panels; one each for the West Coast states; Alaska; the U.S. Pacific states and territories; and the Great Lakes, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Gulf of Mexico states. Each day will include opening and closing cultural ceremonies and one or two regional panels. On the second day, a nationally recognized keynote speaker will discuss how coastal indigenous cultures can become more directly engaged in U.S. climate change policy formulation. On the last day, the symposium witnesses — those recognized for their knowledge of indigenous culture, language and tradition — will share their insights on how coastal indigenous cultures and the nation as a whole are being affected by, and will need to adapt to, our changing climate.
First Stewards is being held in tandem with the Living Earth Festival that will run through the weekend. Living Earth Festival will also feature aspects of the Pacific Islands culture carried forward from the symposium.
Uniting for Quality of Life
Climate change—the variation in the Earth’s climate over time—is a pressing issue for coastal indigenous cultures, other coastal communities, and coastal and ocean resource managers. Some of the most dramatic and economically important effects include heat waves and drought in some areas and changing ocean conditions that affect sea life that cultures depend on in others.
Because of their unique vulnerability, coastal indigenous cultures are leaders in societal adaptation and mitigation in response to climate change impacts. Exploring their experiences may hold great value and provide guidance as communities across the nation respond to our changing climate.