This module bridges Western Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the area of climate change—specifically climate change impacts on water resources in the Southwest. Students will be introduced to the concept of traditional ecological knowledge and indigenous perspectives on water. Students will learn about the traditional and modern uses of water by the Tohono O’odham Nation including Traditional Ecological Knowledge of water, climate and the natural world. They will also learn about predicted climate change impacts on water resources of the region and apply that knowledge to identifying potential impacts on water use of the O’odham. Using a model that incorporates elder, water policy, climate change science, students will develop water policy scenarios, adaptation plans and tribal resolutions addressing climate change impacts on the water resources on southwestern tribal lands.
⇒ Students will be able to describe O’odham traditional ecological knowledge of water.
⇒ Students will be able to articulate indigenous perspectives and worldview of water.
⇒ Students will be able to apply their knowledge of O’odham water use and climate change to predict impacts on both traditional and modern water availability for the O’odham.
⇒ Students will be able to develop water policy scenarios that include Native Americans as stakeholders and incorporate indigenous values.
⇒ Students will be able to discuss water policy scenarios that account for climate change impacts on indigenous lifeways.
ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION AND TEACHING MATERIALS
PowerPoint with Student Activities >> CC_Water_TEK_April 29a.pdf
TEACHING NOTES / CONTEXT FOR USE
This is an interdisciplinary module appropriate for students studying environmental science, policy or American Indian Studies. Our goals for this teaching module include encouraging dialogue across disciplines and generations, legitimizing traditional knowledge and addressing issues of climate justice in the area of water resources.
⇒ In-class discussion comparing Traditional Ecological Knowledge with Western Science.
⇒ Individual written assignment predicting potential impacts of climate change on traditional and modern water uses.
⇒ Individual written assignment analyzing of stakeholder input in the Gila River Indian Community Case Study.
⇒ Small group project developing an adaptation plan for meeting the future water needs of the Tohono O’odham Nation.
⇒ Large group project drafting a tribal resolution addressing climate change impacts on water resources and food systems of the O’odham.
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES