OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Tribes across Oklahoma will receive federal funds to combat climate change in their communities.

The Department of the Interior announced a $1 million investment in tribal communities in Oklahoma to address climate change.

Officials say the funds will support adaptation planning, climate implementation actions, capacity building, relocation, managed retreat, and protect-in-place planning for climate risks.

“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.”  

The funds will go to support five tribes in Oklahoma, but officials say they will impact additional tribes through cooperative planning and shared information and tools.

“Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is essential to supporting the federal government’s treaty and trust responsibility to protect Tribal sovereignty and revitalize Tribal communities. We must invest in climate resilience on Tribal lands to help respond to current and future impacts of climate change,” said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. “This program allows Tribal communities to identify and address priorities based on the unique needs and location of each Tribe.”