With overfishing, habitat loss, pollution, the proliferation of dams, and now climate change, the salmon that are a crucial part of so many of the Pacific Northwest’s indigenous peoples’ cultures are in severe decline. Learn about the work of the Tribes to counteract a future with no fish; Alan Hamlet and the Climate Impacts Group are mentioned.
Also check out this video showing the retreat of the South Cascade Glacier in Washingon, a “water tower” providing summer habitat for salmon:
Lying at sea level, the Quileute Nation is already experiencing the effects of climate change through greater winter run-off and higher sea level. These threats are compounded by the high risk for tsunami damage on tribal lands. In Februrary, Congress voted to allow the National Park Service to transfer land to the Nation so they can relocate to higher ground. Research from the Climate Impacts Group is cited; read more here.
In related news, the Hoh, Makah and Quileute tribes and the Quinault Indian Nation are hosting a national conference on climate change impacts to native peoples. The “First Stewards Symposium” will take place Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. from Tuesday through Friday. Read more about the conference, and its importance to local tribes, in this Peninsula Daily News story.
In these two blog posts, the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission discusses how the Puget Sound is being modified at swift rates, and how these modifications affect salmon and orca habitat — and the Treaty Rights of Native peoples in the area. The first post discusses the impacts, and the second post focuses on what we can do about it — but aren’t, yet.