ZOLTÁN GROSSMAN

Faculty member in Geography and Native American Studies, The Evergreen State College

Lab 1, Room 3012, 2700 Evergreen Pkwy. NW,

Olympia, WA 98505 USA

grossmaz@evergreen.edu

Tel. (360) 867-6153

 
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Climate Change Implications for Quileute and Hoh Tribes of Washington:

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Assessing Climatic Disruptions to Coastal Indigenous Communities

 

By Chelsie R. Papiez

cpapiez@gmail.com

Master of Environmental Studies (MES) Thesis,

The Evergreen State College, 2009

Readers: Zoltan Grossman, Linda Moon-Stumpff, James Jamie

 

Abstract:

Native peoples are the world's early warning system that climate change is affecting human communities. Climate disruptions are impacting hardest on their place-based rights and way of life. On the northern coast of Washington State, Traditional Ecological Knowledge gathered through in-depth interviews strongly suggests climate change is impacting the reservations of the Quileute and Hoh peoples. Both Nations live on low-lying coastline, bordered on three sides by the Olympic National Park, and are susceptible to sea-level rise, extreme storm surge events, and shoreline erosion. Quileute and Hoh peoples are already experiencing and responding to increased winter storms and flooding associated with increased precipitation coinciding with high tide at both the Quillayute and Hoh River mouths. They have little high land to relocate out of the river flood or ocean surge zones. In response, both tribes are requesting higher land within the Olympic National Park for village relocation. Species range shifts in the ocean are becoming more common with the arrival of new warm water species. Declines have been exhibited in traditional resources in the terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments along with an increase in invasive species, hypoxia and domoic acid events. In response, domoic acid is frequently tested to ensure traditional foods gathered are safe. The Quileute obtained a fair weather fisheries agreement with the State to help stabilize their subsistence economy during the winter storm season. Emergency radios and satellite phones are available to all residents on the isolated Hoh Reservation. Intertribal cooperation is increasingly relied on in order to maintain traditional practices. Traditional Ecological Knowledge is a critical resource for understanding and responding to the environmental changes already occurring on the coast. Other coastal communities will be forced to respond to similar impacts and should look to these tribes as a model.

 

1.2 MB PDF of Thesis (needs Adobe Acrobat Reader):

Climate Change Implications for the Quileute and Hoh Tribes of Washington:

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Assessing Climatic Disruptions to Coastal Indigenous Communities

By Chelsie R. Papiez