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Carson Viles speaks at McNair Scholars Symposium

Carson Viles, a fourth-year Environmental Studies and Robert D. Clark Honors College student, as well as a student researcher for the Tribal Climate Change Project, was chosen as a McNair Scholar this year. He gave a research presentation entitled “Foods that Nourish Us: Climate Change Impacts on Indigenous Culture in the Pacific Northwest” at the McNair Scholars 2013 Symposium in February.

Here is what Carson has to say about his presentation:

“In the Pacific Northwest, the potential and ongoing impacts of climate change to tribes and First Nations are mounting. In response, tribal communities, academics and others are researching the effects of climate change. Much of existing climate change research focuses on analyzing impacts to natural resources, i.e. on quantifiable impacts. This paper argues that understanding the cultural impacts of climate change on indigenous people provides a more complete picture of what is at stake for native people today. Climate change has significant implications for traditional food use. This paper details impacts to two aspects of culture, family and sovereignty, order to show how climate change, by impacting traditional food use and species health, also impacts native culture and wellbeing in the Pacific Northwest. Furthermore, this paper demonstrates similarities between climate change and colonization and their effects on traditional food use as well as family and sovereignty in native communities.”

For more information on the McNair Scholars 2013 Symposium, click here.