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Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


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

Resource Type

  • Ebooks

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Wisconsin



The Tribal Adaptation Menu

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  • This comprehensive report provides numerous suggestions for resource management practices that help adapt to climate change using the knowledge of tribal and academic communities in the Upper Midwest.
  • Students will learn about ways to adapt to and prevent climate change by working with nature and not against it.
Teaching Tips


  • This document was written by many different tribal members and gives students an excellent look at some of the ideals that are important to the culture of Indigenous peoples.
  • Examples for the adaptations given will help students see how they can actually be used in their own communities.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Some students may need the terms extraction, paradigm, reciprocity, disseminating, hydrologic, riparian, anthropogenic, ambient, fragmentation, and others defined prior to reading the document.
  • It may be beneficial to go through the glossary beginning on page 49 with students prior to reading the document, and encouraging students to refer back to it.


  • Students can analyze the cover art and discuss why the artist may have made certain artistic choices. After speculating, students can read the Cover Art paragraph on page 2 and see why the artist really made those choices.
  • Students can discuss the Western perspective as described in the Tribal Culture and Adaptation section, and compare it to the perspective of the Anishinaabe perspectives. They can discuss why the latter perspective is needed to address problems associated with climate change.
  • Students can work to identify common themes that are present throughout the document, such as the idea that a gift should be given in exchange for information or permission.
  • Students can work individually or in groups, each reading about one adaptation or category of adaptation, and then teach the rest of the class what they learned.
  • Students can identify a climate change-related problem in their area and propose one or a combination of adaptations from the document to address this issue.
  • Students can do in-depth research on the tribes primarily involved in the creation of this resource, Ojibwe and Menominee. This can be done either prior to reading this document, as a means of building background knowledge, or after reading this document, as a way to extend learning.
Scientist Notes
Indigenous and tribal knowledge is far too overlooked when it comes to climate change adaptation. This Tribal Adaptation Menu offers a comprehensive framework for how to better incorporate this invaluable knowledge into climate adaptation strategies. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS-ESS3-5 Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.10.9-12 Evaluate how changes in the environmental and cultural characteristics of a place or region influence spatial patterns of trade and land use.
      • D2.Geo.4.9-12 Analyze relationships and interactions within and between human and physical systems to explain reciprocal influences that occur among them.
      • D2.Geo.9.9-12 Evaluate the influence of long-term climate variability on human migration and settlement patterns, resource use, and land uses at local-to-global scales.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.9-12 Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
  • 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.
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