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Senator Baldwin Secures $462,000 Investment for Wisconsin Tribes’ Climate Resiliency Projects

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior announced a $45 million investment in Tribal communities to address the disproportionate impacts of climate change, including over $462,000 for the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and the Forest County Potawatomi Community. This federal funding is possible because Senator Baldwin and Democrats in Congress passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the fiscal year 2022 government funding bill, which included $20 million and $25 million for these projects, respectively.  

These Tribal Climate Resilience projects will support Tribes and Tribal organizations in adaptation planning, climate implementation actions, ocean and coastal management planning, capacity building, relocation, managed retreat, and protect-in-place planning for climate risks.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation investment to help Wisconsin communities deal with the impacts of climate change and build more resilient infrastructure for generations to come,” said Senator Baldwin. “These federal investments will allow Wisconsin’s Tribes manage the current and future impacts of climate change, including protecting and revitalizing our Tribal lands and natural habitats.”

“Indigenous communities are facing unique and intensifying climate-related challenges that pose an existential threat to Tribal economies, infrastructure, lives and livelihoods,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are making an unprecedented investment in Indian Country to help ensure that Native communities will have clean air, drinkable water, fertile soil and an overall good quality of life for generations to come.”

Nationally, 124 awards will support 76 Tribes and 8 Tribal organizations. The following projects in Wisconsin will be funded under this announcement: 

  • The Forest County Potawatomi Community was awarded $212,079 to implement their Sustainability & Climate Change Resilience Project. This project will help the Tribe implement sustainability and climate change resilience in the Tribal community, specifically by establishing the Tribe’s Sustainability and Resilience Program. The Sustainability and Resilience Program will be managed by a Climate Sustainability and Resilience Coordinator who will prepare Tribal leadership, Tribal divisions, and the Tribal community to address predicted climate change impacts and in ensuring resilience of the Tribe, its members, and its culture, now and into the future.
  • The Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Tribe was awarded $250,000 for a project to implement actions in Lac du Flambeau’s Tribal Climate Resiliency Plan (TCRP) or better known as Waaswaaganing Gaagige Bimaadiziwin Gaawin Geqaabi Naniizanasinoon. In the plan, 20 species were assessed for climate vulnerability through a climate change vulnerability index. This project focuses on species culturally sensitive to the Lac du Flambeau Community.

Since 2011, BIA’s Branch of Tribal Climate Resilience has awarded over $120 million to Tribes and intertribal organizations for climate adaptation, ocean and coastal management, and community-driven relocation efforts. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a total of $466 million to the BIA over five years, including $216 million for climate resilience programs. Of that funding, $130 million is provided for community relocation, $86 million is provided for Tribal climate resilience and adaptation projects, and $43.2 million will be available to spend annually for five years. For more information on projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in Tribal communities through the BIA, visit the BIA’s interactive map.