Arctic Rivers Summit

March 29-31, 2022, Anchorage, Alaska

The Arctic Rivers Summit will be an in-person workshop to discuss the current and potential future states of Alaskan and Yukon rivers and fish and how we can adapt. The Summit will bring together up to 150 Tribal and First Nation leaders, community members, managers, and knowledge holders, western scientists, federal, state, and provincial agency representatives, academic partners, non-governmental organizations, and others. The Summit is being held as part of a five-year Arctic Rivers Project funded by the National Science Foundation’s Navigating the New Arctic Program.

The Arctic Rivers Project is co-led by the University of Colorado-Boulder and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and both the project and Summit are guided by an Indigenous Advisory Council. Additional project partners include the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Waterloo, and the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals. The project began on January 1, 2020, and runs through December 31, 2024. The ​project seeks to weave together Indigenous Knowledge, climate, river, and fish modeling, and monitoring data to develop Narratives of Change across the Arctic landscape to support resource and community adaptation.

To learn more about the project and research team, please visit our Arctic Rivers Project website.

When and where the Summit will take place:

The three-day Summit will take place March 29-31, 2022 as an in-person event at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage. A variety of COVID-19 precautionary policies will be in effect including a vaccine requirement to attend. For more information, please see our COVID-19 policies webpage. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic situation and will adjust plans for the Summit to prioritize the safety of our Elders and Summit participants.

Summit goals:

The Summit has three main goals:

Exchange knowledge about current and potential future conditions for Alaskan and Yukon rivers, fish, and people and ways we can adapt.

Inform the Arctic Rivers Project modeling of climate, river flows, river ice, and fish to make data generated as useful as possible for communities.

Develop an action plan centered around the: (1) Status of Salmon, (2) Status of Rivers, (3) Partnering Indigenous Knowledge with Western Science to Inform Management, (4) Youth and Elders: Building a Bridge of Traditional Knowledge.

Summit format and agenda:

The Summit will be interactive with a mix of large group gatherings and smaller facilitated talking circles and roundtables. During our first large group gathering Elders will share their thoughts on observed changes and what they would like future generations to know. Other topics include Arctic Rivers Project Overview, the Status of Arctic Rivers, and Weaving Together Indigenous Knowledge with Western Science and Management. Summit attendees will be encouraged to share their thoughts and ask questions. Attendees will be invited to be a co-author on a Summit white paper.

To learn more please visit our Summit goals and agenda webpage.

Cultural and social events:

Tour of the Alaska Native Heritage Center: On Tuesday of the Summit, attendees will have the opportunity to go on a one hour tour of the Alaska Native Heritage Center. During the tour, participants will be able to visit six authentic Indigenous dwellings and will learn about Alaska’s diverse Indigenous cultures from one of the Heritage Center’s Culture Bearers.

Banquet: On Thursday evening, a plated banquet for Summit attendees will be held at The Lakefront Anchorage allowing for further conversations and connection.

Protecting Indigenous Knowledge

Participants will be encouraged to share knowledge about climate, rivers, river ice, fish habitat, and adaptation strategies throughout the Summit. A priority for both the Summit and the Arctic Rivers Project is to protect Indigenous Knowledge through the Cause No Harm and Free, Prior, and Informed Consent principles. Thus, Summit attendees will be provided with an Informed Consent Form detailing knowledge gathering activities, the risks and benefits of sharing Indigenous Knowledge with the project and how the project will manage risks. The Informed Consent Form will affirm the right of each knowledge holder to withdraw their participation and knowledge at any time during or after the Summit. All Summit attendees and research team members will be asked to sign the Informed Consent Form to acknowledge that they have read and understand the form.

Participants will also receive Data Sharing Protocols that describe how the project will use, manage, store, and share knowledge gathered during the Summit. To learn more, please visit our Protecting Indigenous Knowledge webpage.

Apply to join the Summit

We invite you to apply to join the Summit! You can learn more about registration fees and scholarship opportunities on our application webpage. The due date for applications is January 23, 2022. Applicants will be notified by January 25, 2022 if they have been accepted. We will accommodate as many applicants as possible.

Thank you!

We appreciate you taking the time to visit our website. We believe each person has important stories and wisdom to share. We're excited to learn from all who attend the Summit as we strive to make the Arctic Rivers Project as useful as possible for Indigenous communities, and we are grateful for the opportunity to come together to consider how we can adapt to our changing world.