Enduring Legacies Native Case Studies

Case Study

Climate Change Implications for the Quileute and Hoh Tribes

Author:Chelsie Papiez

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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. Among the key impacts identified, TEK tells us that species range shifts in the ocean are becoming more common with the arrival of new warm water species. This change alone poses negative implications for Native and non-Native peoples.

Updated: October 29, 2009