Proposed Abstract Title

Coastal climate impacts to First Foods and Swinomish Community Health and Wellbeing

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Changes in Ecosystem Function and Climate Revealed by Long-term Monitoring in the Salish Sea

Location

2016SSEC

Description

The combination of sea level rise, wave impacts, and shoreline development are changing coastal ecosystems that support Swinomish first foods and place-based relationships, which in turn impact community health and well-being. In this presentation, we will discuss a current Swinomish-led project assessing how community health may be impacted by changing nearshore habitats and resultant changes in the quantity and quality of first foods. First foods, local natural resources that community members have harvested since time immemorial, are an integral part of Swinomish community health and wellbeing, supporting social, cultural, mental and physical realms of health. Yet there are no established measures to determine how these multiple aspects of health may be impacted when access to first foods deteriorates. Here we will explain how we employ a set of health indicators that reflect Coast Salish definitions of health, called Indigenous Health Indicators (IHI), to work with community members in evaluating how different aspects of health may be impacted, and to what degree. We will also discuss how project results will be employed in established climate change impact assessment and action plan matrices as part of the Swinomish Climate Initiative. These matrices will guide planning and decision-making related to nearshore and community health sustainability strategies. Project outcomes may be useful for other tribes who wish to enact vulnerability assessments and planning strategies related to first foods and community health and well-being.

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Coastal climate impacts to First Foods and Swinomish Community Health and Wellbeing

2016SSEC

The combination of sea level rise, wave impacts, and shoreline development are changing coastal ecosystems that support Swinomish first foods and place-based relationships, which in turn impact community health and well-being. In this presentation, we will discuss a current Swinomish-led project assessing how community health may be impacted by changing nearshore habitats and resultant changes in the quantity and quality of first foods. First foods, local natural resources that community members have harvested since time immemorial, are an integral part of Swinomish community health and wellbeing, supporting social, cultural, mental and physical realms of health. Yet there are no established measures to determine how these multiple aspects of health may be impacted when access to first foods deteriorates. Here we will explain how we employ a set of health indicators that reflect Coast Salish definitions of health, called Indigenous Health Indicators (IHI), to work with community members in evaluating how different aspects of health may be impacted, and to what degree. We will also discuss how project results will be employed in established climate change impact assessment and action plan matrices as part of the Swinomish Climate Initiative. These matrices will guide planning and decision-making related to nearshore and community health sustainability strategies. Project outcomes may be useful for other tribes who wish to enact vulnerability assessments and planning strategies related to first foods and community health and well-being.