Event Title

Swinomish for science: how cultural traditions guide science-based environmental protection

Presentation Abstract

Since time immemorial, the Swinomish people have lived in balance with the natural world. As Coast Salish peoples, they sustain a long-standing relationship with the land, water, salmon, and shellfish. These keystones of their culture are vital components of their traditional, spiritual, and social life. The Swinomish Indian Reservation is the permanent homeland of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. The people depend on aquatic resources to harvest fish and shellfish. Water quality is critically important for sustaining the continued use and occupancy of the Reservation. In 2013, the Swinomish Senate established the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Department of Environmental Protection’s mission is to protect and restore the natural environment, and the health and welfare of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community for present and future generations. Our functions fall into three major categories with associated projects: Environmental research and monitoring: monitoring water levels and quality in freshwater streams, marine waters, wetlands and groundwater; beaches; habitat restoration; and environmental education; Environmental policy and ordinance development: Updating ordinances to address climate change; water quality standards, aquifer protection ordinance Environmental management: environmental permitting and compliance; environmental clean-up and spill response planning; air quality and indoor air assessments; and, noxious weed control. The DEP conducts research focused on the Reservation. This enables us to analyze our data for long term trends, and to propose the best methods to protect our resources. Projects have focused on the restoration of salmon habitat, improving water quality, and connecting tribal citizens to their natural resources. Salmon that swim in our waters guide spiritual beliefs and decision making, keeping us integrated with the natural world. Restoring natural processes for healthy salmon recovery and action plans for climate change continue to be the focus for our future. More specific projects will be presented by Swinomish DEP throughout this conference.

Session Title

Snapshot Presentations

Conference Track

SSE17: Snapshots

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE17-317

Start Date

5-4-2018 10:00 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 10:05 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

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

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

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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Apr 5th, 10:00 AM Apr 5th, 10:05 AM

Swinomish for science: how cultural traditions guide science-based environmental protection

Since time immemorial, the Swinomish people have lived in balance with the natural world. As Coast Salish peoples, they sustain a long-standing relationship with the land, water, salmon, and shellfish. These keystones of their culture are vital components of their traditional, spiritual, and social life. The Swinomish Indian Reservation is the permanent homeland of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. The people depend on aquatic resources to harvest fish and shellfish. Water quality is critically important for sustaining the continued use and occupancy of the Reservation. In 2013, the Swinomish Senate established the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Department of Environmental Protection’s mission is to protect and restore the natural environment, and the health and welfare of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community for present and future generations. Our functions fall into three major categories with associated projects: Environmental research and monitoring: monitoring water levels and quality in freshwater streams, marine waters, wetlands and groundwater; beaches; habitat restoration; and environmental education; Environmental policy and ordinance development: Updating ordinances to address climate change; water quality standards, aquifer protection ordinance Environmental management: environmental permitting and compliance; environmental clean-up and spill response planning; air quality and indoor air assessments; and, noxious weed control. The DEP conducts research focused on the Reservation. This enables us to analyze our data for long term trends, and to propose the best methods to protect our resources. Projects have focused on the restoration of salmon habitat, improving water quality, and connecting tribal citizens to their natural resources. Salmon that swim in our waters guide spiritual beliefs and decision making, keeping us integrated with the natural world. Restoring natural processes for healthy salmon recovery and action plans for climate change continue to be the focus for our future. More specific projects will be presented by Swinomish DEP throughout this conference.