National Park Service Working with American Indians, Alaska Natives And Native Hawaiians
  • Native Americans with cermeonial masks

    Working with Native Americans

    Cultural Resources National Park Service

Climate Change

Cherokee tribal artist Shirley Jackson Oswalt at the annual Tribal Cultural Fair, Fading Voices, in the Snowbird Community of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
The white cliffs of Gayhead, Acquinnah, Massachusetts, on Martha’s Vineyard are considered sacred and homeland to the Wampanoag Tribe of Gayhead, courtesy of James Bird, NPS, 2008

The National Park Service’s (NPS) Climate Change Response Program (CCRP) is addressing many aspects of climate change. These include science to better understand the effects of climate change on park environments and resources and adaptation planning to address these effects. NPS is also working to reduce its carbon footprint and engage the public in discussions about the long term interactions of humans and our environment.

The CCRP includes cultural resources in its programs to address the inter-relationships between climate change and the care and interpretation of national parks. To do this work effectively, the CCRP partners with a variety of organizations and individuals including Native Americans. 

Ice Patch archaeology is now underway in multiple parks to find and study artifacts being exposed by melting ice. Since 2010, Glacier National Park, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation and the Blackfeet Nation have been working with NPS, the University of Wyoming, and the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research at Colorado University, Boulder to develop ways of protecting or conserving sites, features, and objects at risk from melting ice.

In July 2012, NPS helped sponsor the First Stewards symposium at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. The First Stewards Symposium came together under the leadership of the Hoh Indian Tribe, Makah Tribe, Quileute Tribe, and the Quinault Indian Nation, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Smithsonian Institution, to give a strong voice to Native American experiences with rapidly changing climates and environments.

Contact a park directly or visit their webpage to find out what the parks are doing to address climate change.

Contact Us
Marcy Rockman, Climate Change Coordinator at 202 354-2105 or