DOINews: Recent Publication Explores Indigenous Community Health and Climate Change

Last edited 4/26/2016

canoe_landing--Carol_Reiss (for donatuto 2014 pub announcement) 349x122

Salish tribes during their Salish Sea journey while they conduct water sampling with USGS.

Image source: Carol Reiss

Coastal Indigenous communities are disproportionally vulnerable to climate change because many of their reserves lie in lowlands that may be threatened by sea level rise.

In a study partly funded by the Northwest Climate Science Center, members of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in Washington State, the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation in British Columbia, and the USGS applied recently developed Indigenous community health indicators (IHIs) to identify climate adaptation priorities for their coastal communities. IHIs, such as “Natural Resources Security” and “Self Determination”, were linked to environmental indicators, such as the health of shellfish beds and archaeological resources.

A paper detailing the study, titled "Indigenous community health and climate change: integrating biophysical and social science indicators," has been published in the journal Coastal Management.

The project was co-funded by the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

See the full article here: or contact Jamie Donatuto at for more information.

More information about the research project can be found at: Correlation and Climate Sensitivity of Human Health and Environmental Indicators in the Salish Sea