The Blackfeet Climate Change Adaptation Plan (BCCAP) marks the beginning of a formally coordinated effort to describe current climate change impacts, to predict future impacts, to assess vulnerabilities, and to outline goals, strategies, and actions for increasing resilience to climate change. The plan conveys actionable steps within the context of the region’s changing climate, in a place where Amskapi Pikuni people have lived and acted as stewards for thousands of years.
The BCCAP is intended to be a ‘living document’, one that is consulted frequently and regularly revisited and updated to reflect changes in the tribe’s needs and priorities. As such, several next steps are recommended:
The Blackfeet Climate Change Adaptation Plan is a significant body of work from which to start building resilience to climate change impacts, and it is a base from which to build future project work, research, and funding. The very act of bringing people together from multiple sectors has brought climate change to the forefront of conversations and decision-making in the Blackfeet Nation. The planning process has also improved coordination between departments. For example, it increased shared understanding of fisheries management goals and activities between the Blackfeet Water Resources Department and the Blackfeet Fish and Wildlife Department. One early, tangible outcome is that the planning process created The Beaver Project, a coordinated effort between the Blackfeet Fish and Wildlife Department, Blackfeet Community College, the Blackfeet Environmental Office, the Agriculture Resource Management Planning team, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, and others designed to increase natural water storage in the Blackfeet Nation by protecting beaver (nature’s “wetlands engineers”) and restoring riparian areas. The Beaver Project has received funding from multiple foundations and agencies and is beginning January 2018. Finally, the planning process built momentum for creating the Blackfeet Country & Climate Change website1 (https://blackfeetclimatechange.com/), a platform for sharing information about climate change impacts to the environment and human health, and a place to share updates with the public about existing and potential opportunities for building resilience to climate change in the Blackfeet Nation.
 The Blackfeet Country & Climate Change website was initially created through funding from the National Indian Health Board.