Published April 28, 2018
BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON — Northwest Indian College Student Wins First Place at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference
Althea Wilson, Lummi tribal member and senior in the Native Environmental Science program at Northwest Indian College, earned first place in the undergrad division at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference for her research project, “Revitalizing Cultural Knowledge and Honoring Sacred Waters: Documenting the Oral History of Life on the Nooksack River”.
Wilson’s project is designed to help preserve Indigenous knowledge of the Nooksack River and to share the story of the River from the perspective of the Lummi People, who still fish and hold sacred the territory at the mouth of the river. With constant changes to our environment and public policy affecting the tribe, the stories connected to the Nooksack River become invaluable historical knowledge. It is important to the Lummi community, through documentation of the oral history, to reflect how the people thrived and interacted within the natural world. Her project includes images and video of those who lived in the fishing village at the Nooksack River to give light to the true untold stories of the daily life on the river.
She presented her research poster at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference held in early April in Seattle, which brought together approximately 1,300 people. The purpose of the conference is to assemble scientists, First Nations and tribal government representatives, resource managers, community and business leaders, policy makers, educators, and students to present the latest scientific research on the state of the ecosystem, and to guide future actions for protecting and restoring the Salish Sea ecosystem. This project is supported by funding through the National Science Foundation (project number 1461441) that aims to support place-based education and culturally grounded curriculum in the Sciences.