Event Title

Growing clams and growing Indigenous scholars: developing a research agenda for the Salish Sea Research Center

Presentation Abstract

Tribal communities have an interconnected relationship with nature and long-term view of ecological change. This perspective is vital to maintaining ecosystem resilience in the face of anthropogenic impacts and climate change. As a research center on the Lummi Reservation, in the Pacific Northwest staffed by Native American scientists, the Salish Sea Research Center is uniquely positioned to connect marine ecology with the cultures of the Northwest Coast to grow the resilience of communities and ecosystems. Northwest Indian College’s Salish Sea Research Center brings the tools and technologies to Indigenous students, on the reservation, to ask the questions they find most compelling in a supportive, scientific environment. Through the SSRC, Indigenous people can ask the questions that matter most in their lives using a mixture of traditional and non-traditional methods. Generally, this research can be described under two umbrellas: environmental health and the history of human interaction in this area. To understand the human footprint on Salish Sea, we acknowledge that people have always been here and we ask what lessons can be learned about how the ancestors promoted sustainability and how they interacted with the Salish Sea in a respectful manner. Examples of our research include multiple projects to explore the natural and cultural context of traditional mariculture practices. Specifically, we are focusing on clam gardens, hand constructed rock walls built to expand suitable bivalve (clams and cockles) habitat seaward by increasing the sedimentation rate of suspended silt particles at low intertidal elevations. Grounded in Coast Salish culture, we weave marine ecology and place-based research to build the ecological and cultural resilience of the Salish Sea.

Session Title

Salish Sea Studies: An integrating context for teaching, research, and community engagement

Conference Track

Engagement

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Comments

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Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Growing clams and growing Indigenous scholars: developing a research agenda for the Salish Sea Research Center

2016SSEC

Tribal communities have an interconnected relationship with nature and long-term view of ecological change. This perspective is vital to maintaining ecosystem resilience in the face of anthropogenic impacts and climate change. As a research center on the Lummi Reservation, in the Pacific Northwest staffed by Native American scientists, the Salish Sea Research Center is uniquely positioned to connect marine ecology with the cultures of the Northwest Coast to grow the resilience of communities and ecosystems. Northwest Indian College’s Salish Sea Research Center brings the tools and technologies to Indigenous students, on the reservation, to ask the questions they find most compelling in a supportive, scientific environment. Through the SSRC, Indigenous people can ask the questions that matter most in their lives using a mixture of traditional and non-traditional methods. Generally, this research can be described under two umbrellas: environmental health and the history of human interaction in this area. To understand the human footprint on Salish Sea, we acknowledge that people have always been here and we ask what lessons can be learned about how the ancestors promoted sustainability and how they interacted with the Salish Sea in a respectful manner. Examples of our research include multiple projects to explore the natural and cultural context of traditional mariculture practices. Specifically, we are focusing on clam gardens, hand constructed rock walls built to expand suitable bivalve (clams and cockles) habitat seaward by increasing the sedimentation rate of suspended silt particles at low intertidal elevations. Grounded in Coast Salish culture, we weave marine ecology and place-based research to build the ecological and cultural resilience of the Salish Sea.