Is Climate Change affecting our "Traditional Gathering Calendar"?

Is Climate Change affecting our 
“Traditional Gathering Calendar?”
The Organized Village of Kasaan
Natural Resources Department
Dennis Nickerson, Environmental Planner
Machelle Edenshaw, Environmental Technician
Carrie Sykes, TEK Researcher
Frederick Olsen Jr, TEK Researcher
NPLCC Funding Opportunity
 In FY 2012, OVK applied & received funding from
North Pacific Landscape Conservation
Cooperative- supported by U.S. Fish & Wildlife
 Seven projects were selected; OVK was the only
Tribe in Alaska to receive primary funding.
CCTHITA- NLR also received funding to assist OVK
and the POW Tribes.
 Our 10 month project will assist in determining if
our “gathering calendar” has changed/altered
over time.
What is NPLCC?
 North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative is a shared
management-science partnership between the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, states, and British
Columbia, Canadian and federal resource management
agencies, Tribes, Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s),
universities and other entities within a geographic area.
 NPLCC’s geographic area ranges from northern California to
south-central Alaska.
 Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC’s) are divided all
across the U.S.
NPLCC cont’d.
 NPLCC works to disseminate scientific
conservation information to its partners and
others in an effort to prepare for changes in
 To further collaborate, NPLCC included Tribal
representation on the executive leadership board
from Alaska, Oregon, Washington, California, and
 Eric Morrison, Douglas Indian Association
Map of NPLCC Boundary
Organized Village of Kasaan – Natural Resource Department
NPLCC Mission Statement
“The North Pacific Landscape Conservation
Cooperative promotes development, coordination,
and dissemination of science to inform landscape level
conservation and sustainable resource management
in the face of a changing climate and related
This falls neatly within OVK’s Mission Statement and
OVK’s IGAP Work Plan- protection and sustainability
of natural resources.
Other projects funded within NPLCC
Organized Village of Kasaan
 Coastal Cultural Resources at Tolowa Dunes
State Park: “TEK” to Model the Effects of Climate
Change and Sea Level Rise on Coast Cultural
Resources at Tolowa Dunes State Park
 Karuk Tribe: Preserving Tribal Self-Determination
and Knowledge Sovereignty While Expanding the
Use of Tribal Knowledge and Management in Off
Reservation Lands in the Face of Climate Change
More Projects
 Yurok Tribe: Utilizing Yurok “TEK” to Inform Climate Change
 Tulalip Tribe: Tribal Recommendations on a Traditional
Knowledge Management Framework for the NPLCC
 Swinomish Tribe: Correlation and Climate Sensitivity of Human
Health and Environmental Indicators in the Salish Sea
 Heiltsuk Nation: Implement Ecosystem-based Management in
the Central Coast of B.C.- Heiltsuk Participation in the Strategic
Landscape Reserve Design Process.
Determine of Climate Change is affecting our
“Traditional Gathering Calendar”
“Organized Village of Kasaan is located in southern Southeast
Alaska on Prince of Wales Island, within the Alexander Archipelago.
This project aims to determine if Haida and Tlingit Tribe’s
Traditional Gathering Calendar” has changed over time because of
potential climate change impacts.
 Without partnerships, our island will fall behind.
 Prince of Wales Island is unique. We have the finest working
relationship with:
Other Federally Recognized Tribes
2. Federal Agencies
3. Local businesses
4. Interested Residents
The Four Tribes
Our partnership is documented throughout this project:
Craig Tribal Association
Hydaburg Cooperative Association
Klawock Cooperative Association, Tribe
Organized Village of Kasaan
Project Goals
Assist in determining if Climate Change is affecting our
“Traditional Gathering Calendar” by:
Hosting & facilitating community meetings in Craig, Hydaburg,
Kasaan & Klawock to introduce project to residents.
Conduct multi-generational interviews on traditional ecological
knowledge (“TEK”). A total of 16 interviews will occur- 4 in
each POW Tribal Community. Two elderly; and two middle
Host & facilitate community meetings to inform residents of
the findings of the project after research and transcriptions.
What is Climate Change?
 Definition: Climate change refers to any
significant change in the measures of climate
lasting for an extended period of time. In other
words, climate change includes major changes in
temperature, precipitation, or wind patterns,
among other affects, that occur over several
decades or longer.
 Source cited: U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA).
Climate Change Facts in Alaska
 Alaska’s average summer
temperature increased 3.4
degrees Fahrenheit over
the last 50 years. The rest
of the U.S. was half that (1.7
degrees Fahrenheit).
 Permafrost is melting,
releasing methanepolluting twenty (20) times
more than carbon dioxide.
 Sea level is rising.
 Spruce bark beetles thrive
longer because of earlier
snow melt, causing Sitka
Spruce trees to die from
the inside-out.
 Sea ice has decreased.
 Alpine ranges are moving
higher into the mountains,
causing shrubs to take over.
Climate Change in Alaska
Shishmaref coastline eroded 100-300 feet in past 30 years.
Climate Change in Alaska
Reddish-brown needles indicate spruce beetle killed forest. SC Alaska
Mean Annual Temperature for Alaska 
from 1949-2011
Climate Change in Alaska
Sinkhole caused by thawing
When permafrost melts, methane is released. Methane is 20 times more powerful than CO2
Glacial Retreat in Alaska
The bottom photograph is the same location as above in 1909 (95 years).
The Northwest Passage
 For centuries, the “Northwest Passage” was once
an impenetrable passage that was blocked by sea
 Over the last five years, it has now been open to
summer maritime travel.
 The Northwest Passage links the Bering Sea (west
of Alaska) to Hudson Bay (located in Canada).
What is “Traditional Gathering Calendar?”
Since time immemorial, we’ve “gathered” resources
that follow the lunar cycle.
For instance, in Tlingit, the new moon in July is
considered Tlingit “New Year”, all because this is
when our salmon are at their peak. Salmon is the
primary food source of Tlingit and Haida Culture.
Each lunar phase correlates with resource(s) or
wildlife that can be hunted or gathered; wildlife
activity; or weather that occurred in that lunar phase.
No permits had to be issued.
Haida Calendar with names and translation
 September- K’íit’aas Kungáay- “Berry Basket Moon”
 October- Kálk Kungáay- “Ice Moon”
 November- Cha’áw Kungáay- “Hibernation Moon”
 December- T’a’áaw Kungáay- “Snow Moon”
Calendar Name, Tlingit Name & Translation
(first six months)
 July- Át Gadaaxeit Dísee, “When animals give birth”
 August- Át Gata Dísee [and] Shaa xeeyi Dísee- “Month when
everything fattens and Comes down from the mountain”
 September- Dis Yadi, “Young (animals) moon”
 October- Dis Tlein, “Big Moon”
 November- Kaxahaa Dís, “Digging [snow] Moon”
 December- Shaanax Dísee, “Valley Moon”
What is Traditional Ecological Knowledge?
 Traditional Ecological Knowledge, or “TEK” is a
framework that describes indigenous people’s
connection with the environment.
 It is a connection that links us to the land, air and
 This knowledge is “handed down” from
 Our treasured Elderly have master degrees’ in
Project Summary
 Utilize Traditional Ecological Knowledge to
establish traditional gathering practices.
 Determine potential climate change impacts to
natural resources and ecosystems.
 Conduct interviews with traditional gatherers’
over the last two (2) generations to get baseline
 Assure all Culturally Sensitive Information is not
Project Objective
 Assure interviews accurately document any
changes in traditional gathering over time.
 Interview will also include if the amount of
“gathered” natural resources have reduced over
 Project findings can provide change in regulations
and protection of resources.
Project Methods
 Outreach & Education- community meetings; establish
trust within Tribal communities. Effective consultation,
collaboration, and communication.
 Historical research of POW Tlingit and Haida on
traditional gathering.
 Conduct interviews, transcribe interviews, and enhance
research developments on Tlingit and Haida.
 Provide transcriptions to interviewees to assure
culturally sensitive information is not included.
We still need your help!
We are looking for the
Photographs of gathering
in your community- past
and present. They can/will
be used with this project.
These can show abundance of
resources in the past; and the
challenges we have today.
 Identify knowledgeable
gatherers in your
Interviewees will be given
honorarium and gifts for their
valuable time & information.
We want to assure that trust is
the main element of this
Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa, Thank You for your time.
Organized Village of Kasaan

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