Ancestors of the Pueblo people migrated from Mesa Verde and the Chaco Canyon to occupy the mesa and cliffs of the Pajarito Plateau. Drought and other factors caused the people to migrate to present-day San Ildefonso and settled along the banks of the Rio Grande, where water for crop irrigation was plentiful. Historically, the Pueblo’s economy was based on agriculture.
Climate change affects Pueblo life, including traditional uses of water, birds, animals, plants, wood, clay, deer, rabbit, turkey, and elk; as well as the spiritual well-being of our Pueblo. There are also human impacts due to the proximity of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which left a legacy of contaminants in the local environment; for example, wildfires, rainfall, and flooding increase the risk of exposure to these contaminants on the Pueblo.
Na’ inbe wo’wahaa’tsi din’ pidin’an, Nain’be towa kuu gin, Gin’kon ma’a gin te’e, paa, puu, pindee, daa, p’oe tsideh’e, Tsee’wee’ay, son, pi’in nan. Nang inbin wo’watsi nacha’muu. Los Alamos National Laboratory nako ho’ pin k’eweh bugeh. Wen p’oe de yoe’an Na’ oepaa p’in k’e weh. Na’e pin’paa, kwan, kwan po. Na’e pin’paa(eeyaa) e’haa’ho, p’oe a suwa de’. Ba’ge na’inbe towa de’haybo.
Situated in the Southwest, the Pueblo is already experiencing hotter temperatures and extreme heat, droughts, wildfires, storms and flooding, and changes in snowmelt and streamflow. As climate change projections indicate more severe temperature increases and drier conditions in the future, these climate hazards could have significant impacts on the Pueblo. Click on the icons below to learn more:
Our climate action planning process involves three key components: community involvement, planning, and implementing with six steps. In our planning process, we have undertaken community involvement and planning, which lays the groundwork for implementation. Click on the six steps below to learn more:
Through a collaborative approach, the community – including elders, youth, resource managers, and the Tribal Council – identified key aspects of Pueblo life that are critical to preserve and protect, and developed a vision for the community. This community vision integrates four aspects of Pueblo life – traditional activities, traditional places, community health, and infrastructure and governance – with the broad cross-cutting themes that overlap with these aspects of community life, which include traditional knowledge, language, income, spiritual health, water (Poe), and food sovereignty (the outer circle).
Preserving this community vision is the goal of the Pueblo’s climate resilience planning process. The community vision provides the basis for identifying and prioritizing climate vulnerabilities and developing climate change adaptation and climate change mitigation actions that could help protect and sustain the most important aspects of Pueblo life.
Creating a resilient Pueblo community requires diverse actions to address and adapt to the growing challenge of climate change. These climate actions will be expanded on with additional input from Pueblo departments and the community; and will evolve with new knowledge, data, and evidence about the impacts of climate change on the community vision.
Below are several climate actions identified by the Pueblo for vulnerabilities that they believed posed the greatest threats to the community vision. Click on the key aspects of the community vision below to review the list of actions.
Pueblo de San Ildefonso Climate Action Plan
This climate action plan walks through the climate planning process in greater detail, including developing the community vision, assessing the vulnerability of each aspect of the community vision, and identifying adaptation actions that could reduce the Pueblo’s vulnerability to climate change.
Green Fire Times Article about Planning and Implementing Climate Resilience
In 2021, the Green Fire Times published an article about the Pueblo de San Ildefonso implementing its Climate Action Plan.
Evaluation of the Health Effects of Climate Change and Contaminant Exposure Pueblo de San Ildefonso 2021
In this paper we present a health impact assessment to understand the vulnerability of Pueblo community members to direct, indirect, and combined effects of climate change.
Green Fire Times Article about the Pueblo de San Ildefonso’s Community Vision
In September 2019, the Green Fire Times published an article about the Pueblo de San Ildefonso community vision.
2021. Series Session on community engagement, the integration of Indigenous and Pueblo cultures into adaptation planning, and transportation resilience and how it relates to access to health and emergency services. November 17, 2021.
2021. Special Session: Environmental Justice: Methodologies to Incorporate Environmental Justice into Human Health Risk Assessment. Evaluating the Vulnerability of the Pueblo De San Ildefonso to the Combined Effects of Extreme Events and Contaminant Exposure. November 16, 2021.
2021. Assessing Contaminant-Related Health Risks for Tribal Communities: Developing Exposure Scenarios, Exposure Pathways, and Exposure Factors for Tribal Risk Assessments. August 18, 2021.
Incorporating Climate Change Adaptation into Restoration Planning: Anticipating the Impact of Sea Level Rise, Drought-Wildfire Cycles, Vegetation Shifts, and Extreme Storm Events
2019. The Fifth Annual Comprehensive Seminar on Tribal Natural Resource Damage Assessments: Current Best Strategies and Tactics for Conducting Tribal NRD Assessments. Law Seminars International. December 16, 2019. Seattle, WA.
Incorporating Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Considerations and Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration at Superfund Sites
2019. The 2019 Tribal Lands & Environment Forum: A National Conversation on Tribal Land and Water Resources. Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals. August 19, 2019. Palm Springs, CA.