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Maine Climate Action Now, Natalie Michelle, PH.D


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Biology, History, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Article
  • Scientific Papers or Reports

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, Maine



MCAN! Climate Change and Wabanaki Culture in Maine

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  • This detailed article examines Wabanaki culture and philosophy, what traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is and why its important, and how climate change is impacting Wabanaki culture and practices.
  • Students will learn about Wabanaki culture, which is collectivistic and ecologically conscious, the multi-faceted framework that guides many Indigenous people as they interact with the environment, and the many ways that climate change is causing economic and cultural difficulties for the Wabanaki people.
  • The article includes infographics and links to a number of other resources and reports that enhance and extend learning.
Teaching Tips


  • The article gives a unique perspective and helps students understand the importance of cultural and local environmental knowledge.
  • The article is thorough and well-organized.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students may need some vocabulary terms defined prior to reading this article.
  • Students will need devices and access to the Internet to click on the links in the article.


  • This article could enhance a lesson on how climate change is impacting some groups of people more than others.
  • This article could supplement a classroom discussion on how Native American cultures value the environment, how other cultures value the environment, how these values are different in various countries or regions, and why these differences matter.
  • The linked scientific reports could be used in language arts and science classes as examples of formal writing and communicating complex concepts and information.
  • This article could support a lesson about the value of wilderness areas, Indigenous lands, conservation easements, and wildlife corridors.
Scientist Notes
In this article, readers are introduced to how climate change is affecting Native American culture (specifically the Wabanaki culture) in the Maine area. Multiple tribes make up the Wabanaki people. The article introduces readers to the idea of traditional knowledge systems, concepts, and approaches used by the Wabanaki people to learn from and have a holistic relationship with the natural world. The article introduces solutions and concerns posed by the Wabanaki people and explains why Native science and the inclusion of Native communities is necessary to address climate change. This article also provides links to more information and resources. The information presented is accurate and this resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.4.9-12 Analyze relationships and interactions within and between human and physical systems to explain reciprocal influences that occur among them.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
    • Reading: Literature (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
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