Tribal Voices, Tribal Wisdom: Strategies for the Climate Crisis

Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 9:30am
210 Cannon & Zoom Video Conference (Hybrid)

The hearing will honor Native American Heritage Month and focus on tribal perspectives on climate change, the transition to a clean energy economy, and adaptation to climate impacts.


"As we work on solving the climate crisis, Congress has a responsibility to respect Tribal sovereignty, to help Tribal Nations build resilience to climate impacts, and to support their leadership in transitioning to a clean energy economy" - U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor


The committee will receive testimony from:

Hon. Fawn Sharp, President, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI); Vice President, Quinault Indian Nation. Sharp serves as the Vice President of the Quinault Indian Nation, a community of 2,500 in Taholah, Washington. She is also the 23rd President of the NCAI, the oldest and largest American Indian and Alaska Native tribal government organization in the country.

Read Sharp's Testimony.

Hon. Melvin J. Baker, Chairman, Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Born and raised on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation, Baker was elected as Chairman of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in 2020. He previously served on the Southern Ute Tribal Council, the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, and the Southern Ute Indian Housing Authority.

Read Baker's Testimony.

Dr. Casey Thornbrugh, Climate Change Program Manager, Office of Environmental Resource Management, United South and Eastern Tribes Inc.; Tribal Climate Science Liaison, DOI Northeast and Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Centers. A citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Thornbrugh works with Tribal Nations to identify climate research needs and priorities. He is also an expert in climate adaptation planning, climate teleconnections, and North American precipitation.

Read Thornbrugh's Testimony.

Pilar Thomas, Partner, Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Practice Group, Quarles & Brady LLP. Thomas is an expert in tribal renewable energy project development and finance, tribal economic development, federal Indian Law, and natural resource development. She previously served as the Deputy Director for the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs at the US Department of Energy.

Read Thomas' Testimony.





117th Congress