The Climate Change and Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations Project was initiated at The Evergreen State College (Olympia, Wash.) in 2006. Its purpose is to document the existing effects of climate change on Indigenous peoples and their homelands in Pacific Rim countries, to describe Indigenous nation responses to fossil fuels and their effects from the local to the international levels, and recommend future paths for Indigenous nations to respond to the climate crisis. Its climate change work has focused on U.S. tribal nations in the Pacific Basin states, Native Alaskans, First Nations in Western Canada, and Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand. See the History of the Climate Change and Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations Project.
The 2nd annual Indigenous Climate Justice Symposium was held at Evergreen’s Longhouse Educational and Cultural Center on Thursday, May 4, and Friday, May 5, 2017. It included panels of frontline community members, student presentations, cultural events, skills workshops, whether on climate change effects, fossil fuel resistance, or community resilience and adaptation. The Thursday keynote speaker was Faith Spotted Eagle (Ihanktonwan Dakota/Nakota), a key leader in the fights to stop the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. The Friday evening speaker was Rueben George (Tsleil-Waututh), a leader against KinderMorgan pipeline expansion in B.C. See the event photos and bios of speakers.
The Indigenous Youth Day for Climate Justice was held on Sunday, May 7, 2017, at the Billy Frank Jr. Community Services in Nisqually, hosted by the Nisqually Tribe. It was open to Native and Pacific Islander youth, including middle school, high school, college-age students, Indigenous youth group members, and canoe families. The Youth Day included overviews on fossil fuel resistance and climate change resilience, youth role models talking about protecting their communities, sharing inspiring and hopeful success stories and skills, having traditional foods and a Coastal Jam, and keeping in touch with other youth protecting their land and water. See the event photos.
The 1st annual Indigenous Climate Justice Symposium was held on November 5-6, 2015, attended by hundreds at the Evergreen Longhouse (download the program). It featured a keynote by Indigenous Environmental director Tom Goldtooth, and a Fossil Fuel Connections panel with Quinault President Fawn Sharp, and other speakers on oil and coal from Fort Berthold, Lummi, and Northern Cheyenne. See photos.
The Project developed the anthology Asserting Native Resilience: Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations Face the Climate Crisis, edited by Zoltán Grossman and Alan Parker; Foreword by Billy Frank, Jr., published by the Oregon State University Press in 2012. It also developed the community organizing booklet Northwest Tribes: Meeting the Challenge of Climate Change, edited by Debra McNutt in 2010, and Climate Change and Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations: A Report to the Leadership of Indigenous Nations, published by the Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute in 2006.
The Climate Change and Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations Project was originally initiated by Evergreen’s Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute to support the development of an Indigenous nation-to-nation Pacific Rim treaty agreement, signed in 2007 in the Lummi Nation by Indigenous government representatives from the U.S., Alaska, Canada, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. The United League of Indigenous Nations Treaty served as a structure to address major issues and challenges that are common to the nations including joint action plans that address the impacts of climate change. Since 2012, the Project has supported Native nations’ opposition to fossil fuel extraction, shipping, and port terminals.