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This short-term project responded to concerns about the disappearance of culturally important plants in traditional gathering areas expressed by elders of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe (PGST) (Olympic Peninsula, WA), both currently and in response to continuing climate change. A formal Memorandum of Understanding was developed between Oregon State University and the PGST to guide this culturally sensitive research. We recommend this formal approach to researchers considering tribal partnerships in order to ensure expectations of all parties are clearly outlined. During formal interviews and informal conversation, PGST elders mentioned 37 plants, of which eight terrestrial species and a group of marine taxa were...
The Columbia River Basin is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest. It is 258,000 square miles in size encompassing large portions of the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and Montana as well as British Columbia. Climate change is expected to significantly alter the ecology and economy of the Columbia River Basin and Tribal communities are among the most climate-sensitive. The Columbia and its tributaries have been central to the region's Tribal culture and economy for thousands of years. Models predict warmer temperatures, more precipitation as rainfall and decreased snowfall occur over the next 50 years, which will directly affect the abundance of culturally significant foods, such as salmon, deer,...
The six federally recognized tribes of the Klamath Basin have depended on traditional foods for survival since time immemorial. Frequent, low-severity fires were implemented historically by tribal peoples to help enhance traditional foods and manage forest growth. For the Karuk Tribe, living in the Mid-Klamath region, over 75% of traditional foods were enriched by fire (Norgaard 2014). Due to the enactment of fire suppression as a national policy for almost a century, many tribal members today do not have access to traditional foods, negatively impacting biological and psychological health. The procurement of traditional foods requires detailed knowledge of the environment, and since the tribal peoples of the Klamath...