The Native Climate team is excited to share that our partners and team members from the Montana Climate Office and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation have been awarded the Native Nations Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Award in ESRI’s 2023 ArcGIS StoryMaps Competition.

The story collection features the CSKT Climate Change Strategic Plan, and was developed by Native Climate team member Annika Mayer as part of the Montana Climate Office’s Native Drought Resilience Project. The Native Drought Resilience Project is led by Kyle Bocinsky, MCO’s Director of Climate Extension, also a member of the Native Climate team. Below is a link to the StoryMap collection and the full news release from the University of Montana.

winner annoucement with photo of bison

News release: Montana Climate Office and CSKT Story Collection Honored with Esri Native Nations TEK Award in 2023 ArcGIS StoryMaps Competition


UM News Service

MISSOULA (Dec. 7, 2023) – The Montana Climate Office and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation proudly announce that their groundbreaking digital story collection, “Explore Climate Actions on the CSKT Flathead Reservation,” clinched the prestigious Esri Native Nations Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Award in the 2023 ArcGIS StoryMaps Competition.

This project is a central component of the Native Drought Resilience Project, a collaborative effort between the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Salish Kootenai College, the Montana Climate Office at the University of Montana, and the Wilderness Society – led by MCO’s Director of Climate Extension Kyle Bocinsky.

“We are honored to receive the Esri Native Nations TEK Award,” said Bocinsky. “This recognition is a testament to CSKT’s commitment to leveraging technology to convey the profound impacts of climate change on the reservation and to engage the community in solutions.”

Esri, the global leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, presented the award in recognition of the exceptional efforts made by the CSKT to utilize technology in conveying vital information about climate actions on the Flathead Reservation.

Authored by Mike Durglo, Jr., the CSKT Climate Change Coordinator, and developed by Annika Mayer, Native Drought Project Story Map Developer and Montana Climate Office staff member, the story collection aims to enhance communication about CSKT’s climate plan among tribal members. The web-first format provides an interactive and accessible experience, highlighting the impacts of drought and climate change on various sectors, including forestry, water, wildlife, and fisheries. Each chapter concludes with proposed solutions, transforming a static document into a dynamic resource.

CSKT leaders will present the StoryMap to communities on the Flathead Reservation in an effort to empower tribal members with knowledge and actionable insights to address the challenges posed by climate change.

The Native Drought Resilience project, funded by the National Integrated Drought Information System, secured funding through the FY 2022 Coping with Drought Competition – Building Tribal Drought Resilience. A portion of this grant was allocated to develop a series of Esri StoryMaps based on the CSKT Climate Change Strategic Plan. Mayer collaborated with Durglo, engaging with CSKT tribal members and staff to create the first StoryMap.

The CSKT Climate Change Strategic Plan StoryMaps serve the dual purpose of enhancing the impact of CSKT’s strategic plan and spotlighting the goals and actions undertaken by the Tribes. The project would not have been possible without contributors Kari Kingery, Casey Ryan, ShiNaasha Pete, Les Evarts, Erin Clinkenbeard, Cody Goklish, Blair Libby, and Martin Zobel. Their collective dedication and expertise have significantly enriched the story collection, creating a comprehensive resource for the CSKT community.

The University of Montana’s pivotal role in this collaboration underscores its commitment to advancing climate resilience and empowering Indigenous communities.