Drawing on Place and Culture for Climate Change Education in Native Communities

  • Anne L. KernEmail author
  • Gillian H. Roehrig
  • Devarati Bhattacharya
  • Jeremy Y. Wang
  • Frank A. Finley
  • Bree J. Reynolds
  • Younkyeong Nam
Part of the Environmental Discourses in Science Education book series (EDSE, volume 1)


Connection to place is a critical cornerstone of a Native sense of identity, and a necessity for preservation and restoration of land and Tribal sovereignty. The land and environment hold particular significance for Native peoples and communities. Changes in the environment due to a rapidly changing climate have a profound impact on the livelihood of Native people (Davis 2010). Daniel Wildcat (2009) suggests climate change can be thought of as the “fourth removal” for Native communities. For example, effects of climate change are a cause for the movement or elimination of local food sources, such as buffalo and fish resulting in the relocation of a local community to search for other sources of food. With this fourth removal, unlike the others where the focus was to “civilize” the American Indian through “geographical, social, and psycho-cultural” (p. 3), the impacts of climate change reach far beyond Native communities, impacting all life on the planet.


Wild Rice Professional Development Program Traditional Ecological Knowledge Tribal Community Native Student 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This material is based in part upon work supported by the NASA Innovations in Climate Education program under Grant Number NNXlOAT53A and NNY10AT77A.

We would like to acknowledge the support and expertize of Jeff Corney and Mary Spivey at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Reserve and Amy Myrbo and her staff at the LacCore Center in planning and implementing professional development and scientific activities with the teachers.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne L. Kern
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gillian H. Roehrig
    • 2
  • Devarati Bhattacharya
    • 3
  • Jeremy Y. Wang
    • 4
  • Frank A. Finley
    • 5
  • Bree J. Reynolds
    • 6
  • Younkyeong Nam
    • 7
  1. 1.University of IdahoCoeur d’AleneUSA
  2. 2.STEM Education CenterUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA
  3. 3.Department of Curriculum and Instruction, STEM Education CenterUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA
  4. 4.MinneapolisUSA
  5. 5.Department Head for Native American StudiesSalish Kootenai Tribal CollegePabloUSA
  6. 6.Black Hills State UniversitySpearfishUSA
  7. 7.The College at BrockportState University of New YorkBrockportUSA

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