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Special Tribal Working Group Meeting Focuses on Coastal Connections

Tribal Working Group members gathered on Kumeyaay lands at the US Fish and Wildlife South Bay Refuge to chat about our connections to the coast. Kumiay and Cucapá partners traveled from Baja California to participate in the gathering.

Climate Science Alliance team members Audrey Carver and Connor Magee stand in front of the check-in table before the meeting.

On August 31st, 2023, the Tribal Working Group held a special meeting where members gathered on Kumeyaay lands at the US Fish and Wildlife South Bay Refuge for a special workgroup meeting to talk about our connections to the coast. In addition to providing access to the coastal area, the team at the Climate Science Alliance facilitated conversations about the needs, desires, and potential projects related to our coastal region. We also had special Kumiay and Cucapá partners from Baja California Indigenous communities participate, and contribute to the conversations throughout the day.

The day started off with a blessing from Dr. Stan Rodríguez, and was followed by an introductory presentation from the Climate Science Alliance’s Co-Director and Community Resilience Lead Althea Walker and Founder and Lead Advisor Dr. Amber Pairis. Attendees then participated in a feedback session, where we explored questions related to what the coast and ocean mean to Indigenous communities and peoples.

The feedback sessions were followed by presentations from Tipey Joa Native Warriors (Martha Rodríguez), the Binational Resilience Initiative (Meliza Le Alvarado), and a short film from the Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous People (Maritza Alvarez).

Participants enjoyed food prepared by a local community member, a tour through a USFWS restoration site where Stewardship Pathways participants planted last February, and free access to the Living Coast Discovery Center.

Tribal Working Group members closely examine a plant on the restoration site.

Thank you to all who participated in our Tribal Working Group meeting! We are so happy to facilitate access for our Tribal Working Group members to spend time on the land near the coast, and chat about how we can move forward on reconnecting with this amazing environment.


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