Conserving this Nation’s fish and other aquatic resources cannot be successful without the partnership of Tribes; they manage or influence some of the most important aquatic habitats both on and off reservations. In addition, the Federal government and the Service have distinct and unique obligations toward Tribes based on trust responsibility, treaty provisions, and statutory mandates.
Coastal Tribes Convene to Tackle Climate Change
This series of pictures from the University of Washington and Larry Workman shows the disappearance of Anderson Glacier which feeds the Quinault River.
On Washington’s rugged Pacific coast, the Quinault Indian Nation has depended on salmon for thousands of years. But the glaciers that feed the Quinault and Queets Rivers and sustain these salmon populations are in retreat because of climate change, threatening the very survival of the salmon.
In Alaska, native villages are pulling up stakes and moving to new ground as the permafrost beneath them melts and erodes due to warming global temperatures. In the U.S. Pacific Islands rainfall and stream levels are decreasing while storm intensity, sea level, and atmospheric and oceanic temperatures are on the rise. Communities are threatened by the resulting decline in underwater aquifers and increases in land-based pollution, coral bleaching, fire risk, hillside and shoreline erosion, and altered fish abundance and distribution.
All around the United States, coastal indigenous people are confronted with loss of food, loss of land, loss of a way of life due to global climate change. But they are working to adapt, as they’ve adapted to changing conditions for millennia.
Coastal indigenous people, led by the Hoh, Makah, and Quileute Tribes and the Quinault Indian Nation tribes located in Washington state, will host the inaugural First Stewards symposium, to be held July 17-20 in Washington, D.C. This national event will examine the impact of climate change on indigenous coastal cultures and explore solutions based on millennia of traditional ecological knowledge. Read More! [exit notice].