Pacific Northwest

Pacific Northwest

Undamming the Klamath, Tribal nations are restoring the river while reclaiming and revitalizing their cultural heritage
By: Nika Bartoo-Smith
Indian Country Today
May 2, 2024
Key words: Karuk, Yurok, Karuk, Shasta Indian Nation, Klamath River, dams, restoration, salmon, steelhead, Pacific lamprey, Klamath Water Users Association
Collaborative work is occurring to restore the river and subsequently the fish and wildlife associated with it. Re-connection is occurring between the tribes and these places.

As work begins on the largest US dam removal project, tribes look to a future of growth
By: Adam Beam
July 31, 2023
Key words: Dam removal, ecosystem restoration, Klamath River, Chinook salmon, Karuk Tribe
Tribes are using their Indigenous knowledge to restore plants to the areas exposed along the river as the water level drops from the dam removal. The effort will prevent invasive species from taking over these areas. The dam removal will connect the river, so that Chinook salmon can freely migrate upstream to spawn.

Podcast – Episode 22: This indigenous practice fights fire with fire
Host: Elin Chen
Overheard at National Geographic
June 14, 2022
Key words: Karuk Tribe, Yurok Tribe, Hoopa Tribe, Klamath Basin, Northern California, Indigenous culture, cultural burns, climate change, inter-relational practices, holism, reciprocity, firelighters, Indigenous Peoples Burn Network
Cultural burns were practiced for generations by Indigenous peoples living in the Klamath Basin. These burns not only effectively prevented massive forest fires, they also had many other ecological benefits from new seed growth to salmon migration. While the U.S. government stopped this practice for the past one hundred years or so, there is now recognition cultural burns are needed.

Indigenous firefighter training teaches traditional Native practices in woodlands management
By: Brian Bull
March 12, 2022
Key words: Chiloquin, Oregon, Klamath Tribes, Ute Nation, Lakota Nation, Burns Paiute Tribe, Modoc Tribe, Siletz Tribe, Maqlaqs Gee’tkni, Long Tom Watershed Council, Oregon Department of Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, land management, cultural burns, staged burns, forest resiliency
Firefighter trainees learn how to stage controlled burns. Many Native peoples once practiced ‘cultural burns’. After decades of suppressing this practice, federal and state governments are accepting the importance preventing massive wildfires. Now tribal and non-tribal governments are creating interdisciplinary teams to fight fires.

Collaborative Fire Management Case Studies from the Colville National Forest
By: Monique Wynecoop
Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center
May 27, 2021
Key words:  Colville National Forest, Confederated Colville Tribes, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, traditional ecological knowledge, fire management goals, cultural burns, collaboration
Monique Wynecoop, USFS fire ecologist and tribal liaison, presents collaborative projects conducted in the Colville National Forest that has led to better fire management. Building trust with tribal communities by incorporating diverse values and knowledge systems to meet varying goals leads to successful, cross-cultural partnership.

Quiet Fire
By: Page Buono
November 2, 2020
Keywords:  Yurok Tribe, Karuk Tribe, Hoopa Tribe, Northern California, cultural burns, fire and land management, Native American Tradition, traditional ecological knowledge, TREX, prescribed burns
There is better understanding these days that the Native American tradition of human-controlled burns is the best method to limit out of control wildfires. Over a century of fire suppression, urban development, and climate change has led to raging, uncontrolled fires that sweep through areas with massive amounts of underbrush. Now, many Northern Californian tribes have partnered with each other and with state and federal governmental agencies to reintroduce cultural burns to the land. In 2015, the Indigenous Peoples Burning Network (IPBN) was formed to revitalize cultural burns with the goal to support tribal self-determination and independence in their relationship to fire.

The Fire We Need
By: Page Buono
April 24, 2020
High Country News
Keywords: Yurok Tribe, Karuk Tribe, fire, cultural burning, proscribed burning
Decades of fire suppression have contributed to the severity of wildfires and harmed cultural resources valued by Indigenous communities. The Indigenous Peoples Burning Network, in partnership with the Nature Conservancy, is bringing together Indigenous fire practitioners and Western-trained fire technicians. Responsible burning opens up wildlife habitat, encourages growth of culturally important resources and reduces the severity of wildfires.

kúkuum yáv nukyâati peethívthaaneen
We make the world good again
Fighting Fire with Fire

Storymap by: Karuk Tribe Department of Natural Resources
February 21, 2020
Keywords: Fire, Karuk Tribe, traditional knowledge, fire suppression, salamander
This storymap speaks to tribal efforts to restore lands with fire as they used to do before fire suppression policies. They are looking to the longterm benefit of re-introducing fire because results may not be apparent in their lifetimes.

Makah Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Resources Assessment: A preliminary framework to utilize traditional knowledge in climate change planning
By: Michael Chang, Haley Kennard, Laura Nelson, et al.
Parks Stewardship Forum 36(1)
Key words: Makah, climate adaptation, fisheries, traditional knowledge, cultural resources, community-based planning, historical baselines, western science, resilience
For community resilience, the Makah tribe included traditional knowledge and community priorities into their climate adaptation process. Because tribal use of resources tends to be higher than the general public, the tribe chose to determine pre-contact historical baselines for resources to be the goals. While western science was an important component in the planning process, the tribes refocussed the discussions from scientific data, scenarios and models to people's emotions, daily activities, and lives as impacted by climate change.

Why STEM Needs Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge: A Case Study of Ichishkíin Math
By: Jennifer L Ruef, Stephany Runninghawk Johnson, Michelle M Jacob, Joana Jansen, and Virginia Beavert
Jan. 2020
International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology
Keywords: Yakama Nation, TEK, Mathematics, STEM education, Indigenous language
Examines benefits of applying an Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) framework to STEM fields. Shows how Tribal Elders are deeply engaged in STEM education and research including: Indigenous language documentation, natural resources management, and traditional Tribal stories that explain how all parts of ecology are relatives.

What western states can learn from Native American wildfire management strategies
By: Kari Marie Norgaard and Sara Worl, University of Oregon
The Conversation
October 29, 2019
Key words: Northern California, Southern Oregon, Karuk Tribe, food deserts, climate change, mega fires, fire supression, colonial violence, traditional foods, diversity
This article confronts the notion that the mega fires that are happening in the west are caused by climate change and suggests that the change in fire regime from one of traditional land stewardship by tribes to one of fire supression could have more to do with the situation. Fire was a tool traditionally used to promote ecological diversity and reduce risk of catastrophic fires.

Pacific Northwest Tribes Face Climate Change with Agricultural Ancient Practice
By: Eilis O’Neill
Oct. 8, 2019
Keywords: Climate change, sea level rise, shellfish populations, clam gardens, Swinomish Tribe, Whidbey Island, Washington
Pacific Northwest shellfish populations are declining, which is bad news for Swinomish Tribe members, for whom shellfish are a traditional subsistence resource. Clam gardens may help reduce ocean acidity, improving habitat for baby clams. Clam gardens have been used in the area for over 3000 years.

Indian time: time, seasonality, and culture in Traditional Ecological Knowledge of climate change
By: Samantha Chisholm Hatfield, Elizabeth Marino, Kyle Powys Whyte, Kathie D. Dello, and Philip W. Mote
July 9, 2018
Key words: cultural resources, tribes, vulnerability assessment, Nortwest, climate change, natural cycles, seasonal changes, Confederated Tribes of Salish and Kootenai, the Qinault Indian Nation, and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians
Scientists researched how three tribes' cultures and traditional ecological knowledge are affected by climate change.

Enhancing Tribal Health and Food Security in the Klamath Basin of Oregon and California by Building a Sustainable Regional Food System
By: J. Sowerwine
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Key words: food security, poverty, traditional food, yurok, participatory action research, Karuk
Klamath Basin residents suffer from high rates of food insecurity and poverty—a sharp departure from the rich ecosystem it supported in the past. Researchers attempt to understand the current residents food needs with an emphasis on traditional foods, and address gaps in availability using a community approach.

Tribes: Colville - Tribes & Climate Change and a Growing Wildfire Threat
By: Dennis Wall, ITEP
Key words: fire, beaver, camas, Colville Tribe, air, water, climate change
This tribal profile discusses how the the Colville tribe is addressing climate change and wildfire impacts on its land.

A Native Community Preserves its Food Traditions
By: Allie Hostler
Civil Eats
Key words: Agroecology, climate, food justice, food policy
Tolowa tribal members continue their food traditions from the land and the sea. The tribe is developing a harvest code using traditional ecological knowledge.

Elders to bear witness on climate changes
By: Justus Caudell
The Tribal Tribune
October 13, 2017
Elders from the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation are meeting with scientists from the University of Washington to discuss climate changes noted through traditional knowledge.

Cultural Resources Specialist Report
Project Overview: The Somes Bar Integrated Fire Management Project

By: Bill Tripp, Alex Watts-Tobin, and Jennifer Dyer
June 20, 2017
Key words: Karuk Tribe, Pacific Northwest, TEK, fire management, forest preservation
This report discusses fire management techniques and applications used in Northern California. As known through their cultural stories, the Karuk Tribe managed the forest with fire. For this project, managers selected focal species that have cultural significance and needed preservation and used archaeological techniques to identify human use areas within the project site. The report also lists the direct and indirect effects fire will have on the woodland environment.

Fisher Reintroduction Project
By: North Cascades National Park
May 24, 2017
Historically a common species in Washington, fishers were over-trapped to extinction due to their highly valuable fur. Even after decades of absence from the ecosystem, fisher habitat and their prey base remains intact and abundant, making them exceptional candidates for a population restoration project. Washington, with tribal partners and others, is now actively restoring the fisher population by translocating fishers from a healthy British Columbia population to the evergreen state’s landscape.

Webinar: Scaling Up: Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe
Presented by: Mike Durglo
January 18, 2017
Presented as part of the NPS collaborative conservation working group, Scaling Up, this webinar focuses on landscape conservation efforts of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe in Montana, and includes use of TEK in climate change planning. It is presented by Mike Durglo, the Environmental Protection Division Manager for the Tribe’s Natural Resources Department, who was recognized on July 15, 2016 by the White House as a White House Champion of Change for Climate Equity.

Student Collaboration Links Tribal History with Cultural Resources, Fire Regimes, Forest Management, and Ecological Habitats
By: Frank K. Lake
Pacific Southwest Research Station
Key words: Pacific Southwest Research Station, the Yurok tribe, Humboldt State University, vegetation, soils, climate, fire
Eldon Kinney is a Yurok tribal member and a student at Humboldt State University who researched vegetation diversity and soils. This research contributes to the Yurok tribe’s efforts towards developing a climate vulnerability assessment, part of a larger effort to reintroduce cultural burning practices.

Anchor Forests: Sustainable Forest Ecosystems through Cross-Boundary, Landscape-Scale Collaborative Management
By: Mark Corrao, Vincent Corrao, and Tera King
Northwest Management, Inc.
Key words: South Central, North Central, and Northeast sections of eastern Washington State, forests, fire, climate change
This pilot program is designed to facilitate collaborative ecosystem restoration between federal government agencies, tribal governments, and others. The program was designed to address unhealthy forest conditions, made worse by modern fire regimes and climate change.

Native Americans Adapting to Changes in What-Grows-Where
by Bud Ward
Yale Climate Connections
September 21, 2016
University of Idaho brings a group of tribes together to discuss climate change relating to indigenous ecological knowledge.

Threat of Salmon Extinction Turns Small Tribe Into Climate Researchers
by Nathan Gilles
Yes! Magazine
September 6, 2016
The natural resources department of the Nooksack Indian Tribe is concerned about warming water effects on the Chinook salmon; therefore, employees are undertaking riparian and instream projects to help keep the water cool.

A Native Perspective
OSU (Oregon State University) Stories
January 29, 2016
Climate change is impacting use of and availability of traditional foods and the ceremonies surrounding them.

Learning Together, Burning Together
By: Will Harling
Wildfire Magazine
Key words: Forest Service, Happy Camp, Somes Bar, Orleans, CALFIRE, Karuk Tribe, Klamath Mountains, fire
The Klamath River Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) partners with the Karuk tribe for prescribed burns around the Western Klamath Mountains. These on-the-ground applications represent co-management techniques often used within traditional lands.

Understanding the Pacific's Earthquakes Through Indigenous Stories
by Ann Finkbeiner
The Atlantic
September 14, 2015

Ancient clam gardens nurtured food security
Simon Fraser University News
March 20, 2014
Rock-walled beach terraces were used by coastal communities to farm and harvest clams for food security.

Tribal Wisdom & Western Science: A Holistic Approach to Conservation
By: Amanda Fortin (USFWS) &John Mankowski (NPLCC)
The U.S. Fish &Wildlife Service and North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative are learning how Traditional Ecological Knowledge can inform our collective understanding of climate change –and how communities in the Pacific Northwest can adapt.

Exploring the Role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Climate Change Initiatives
Kirsten Vinyeta and Kathy Lynn
Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-879. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 37p.
Climate change is impacting Indigenous communities disproportionately. These communities are attempting to use TEK in their climate change planning.|

Subsistence Research
Subsistence Harvest Monitoring and Traditional Knowledge

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Subsistence hunters voluntarily report harvest of harbor seals, sea lions and other marine mammals.

Integrating traditional and local ecological knowledge into forest biodiversity conservation in the Pacific Northwest
by Susan Charnley et al.
Forest Ecology and Management, doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2007.03.047
While the potential benefits to incorporating TEK and local ecological knowledge (LEK) in conservation have been explored at length, practical application of it has proven to be difficult. This article explores attitudes towards biodiversity, current management practices, and effective integration models for including TEK and local knowledge in forest conservation in the Pacific Northwest.

Salal Harvester Local Ecological Knowledge, Harvest Practices and Understory Management on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington
By: Heidi L. Ballard and Lynn Huntsinger
August 2006
Human Ecology
Keywords: Forest management, nontimber forest products, salal, Pacific Northwest
Discusses the ecological knowledge of migrant and immigrant harvesters of nontimber forest products and positions that knowledge as TEK. Analyzes interviews of harvesters of salal, a plant used in the floral industry. Concludes that migrant and immigrant harvesters do possess knowledge useful to land managers.

Case Study: Restoring Indian-Set Fires to Prairie Ecosystems on the Olympic Peninsula
by Jacilee Wray and M. Kat Anderson
Ecological Restoration, 21:296-301;doi:10.3368/er.21.4.296
December 2003

Case Study: Restoring Ethnographic Landscapes and Natural Elements in Redwood National Park
by Stephen Underwood, Leonel Arguello, and Nelson Siefkin
Ecological Restoration, 21:278-283;doi:10.3368/er.21.4.278
December 2003

Last updated: May 8, 2024