Center for World Indigenous Studies
A Think Tank of Activist Scholars
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WHAT WE DO
Pacific Northwest

2012

Action

CWIS drafts the first tribal government law on Climate Change in the United States with Gary Morishima at Quinault tribe.

Results

Tribal government promulgated rules for protecting lands behind Pacific Ocean beaches, and land use planning to protect a village of 900 people.

2009

Action

Responds to Yakama Nation Environmental Restoration Project request to design and implement multicultural communications about nuclear waste cleanup at Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Results

Opinion survey of Yakama Citizens, non-Indians on and off the Yakama Indian Reservation with recommendations to expand Yakama Nation involvement of Yakama Citizens in resolution of nuclear waste health improvement.

2009-present

Action

Provides to Quinault Indian Nation analysis of specific climate adaptation and mitigation strategies affecting northwest US and southwest Canada tribal communities.

Results

Conducted Quinault Nation hearings to establish new laws; this influenced similar steps taken by tribal governments in southwest Canada.

2009-present

Action

Analysis of specific climate adaptation and mitigation strategies affecting Northwest US and Southwest Canada tribal communities. Quinault Indian Nation.

Results

Climate Change and Tribal Adaptation Strategies Plan.

2008-2018

Action

Provides Policy Advice to Yakama Indian Nation Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Program.

2004-present

Action

Provides “Policy Advice to President on Intergovernmental Relations, Climate Change and Environmental Policy”, Lummi Indian Nation.

Results

Lummi government enacted laws to guide the conduct of relations with neighboring governments and the United States government; established a reservation wide economic development strategy to enhance employment and replace fisher occupations; the Council established new guidelines and curricula for the Lummi School system to emphasize Lummi history, Lummi knowledge, stories and scientific systems.

2018

Action

Research: Regulating Access to Customary Fourth World Foods & Medicines.

Results

Recommendations to North American tribal governments and communities to institute regulatory mechanisms based in Customary Tribal Laws to control access and uses of traditional plant-based and animal-based foods and medicines: Incorporate customary law into Fourth World governing codes and regulations; establish complementary jurisdictional regulation with neighboring jurisdictions; and engage in bi-lateral negotiations with the federal government on this topic using the Constitutional and Customary Indigenous Governments Intergovernmental Protocol developed by CWIS to ensure tribal federal cooperation.

2017

Action

CWIS complete a year-long Muckleshoot Tribe Food Sovereignty Assessment with the Youth Food Policy Council.

Results

13 policy recommendations were presented to the Tribal Council to enact laws and programs to re-establish control over food gathering, processing and distribution to more than 3,000 tribal members; and the study revealed that 43% of the Muckleshoot population suffers from obesity and diabetes.

2012

Action

Traditional Medicine for the treatment of PTSD and Diabetes type 2 at Traditional Knowledge & Healthy Ecosystems Summit, Snoqualmie Tribe.

2010

Action

Completion of “Salish Country Cookbook”, a full-color book of Traditional Pacific Northwest herbs and foods. Disseminated to tribal members and leaders.

2009

Action

Completion of the book “Preventing and Treating Diabetes Naturally: The Native Way” disseminated to tribal health centers and clinicians in the Pacific Northwest.

Results

Disseminated to tribal health centers and clinicians in the Pacific Northwest and used throughout North America.

2006

Action

Conducts tribal based action research with 9 Washington state tribes to evaluate federal/tribal caregiver programs resulting in American Indian Caregiver Policy report.

Results

Distribution of guidance to Tribal communities in Washington advancing the importance of touch therapies for the benefit of caregivers of family members; policy analysis for establishing a working relationship between state, county and tribal caregiver programs.

2006

Action

Washington State Mental Health Transformation Project: “Multicultural Practices and Beliefs for Mind and Body.” Kennewick, WA.

2006

Action

Presented: Washington Department of Social and Health Services and Washington Indian Policy Advisory Commission, Elders Conference. “Natural Approaches to Physical and Emotional Well Being.”

2006

Action

National Native Leadership Institute on Tobacco, SAMHSA. “The Spectrum of Tobacco: Culture, Nature and Tobacco” and “Cigarettes, Sugar and Alcohol: A Natural Strategy for Recovery.” Clarkston, WA.

2006

Action

Native Research Network/Indian Health Service Annual Conference, “A Randomized Trial of a CAM therapy for American Indian Caregivers”, Portland.

2005

Action

International meeting on Inuit and Native American child health, 17th Annual Indian health service research conference Barriers to Research Subject Recruitment in Salish Populations.

Results

Presentation of 3 abstracts on CWIS collaborative tribal research on dementia caregivers.

2004-2006

Action

Organizes and delivers chair and table massage healing treatments with a team of 20 volunteer massage therapists to 4 Pacific Northwest tribal conferences on caregiver health and well being.

Results

3 tribal health clinics institute and offer massage therapy for community.

2004-2007

Action

Led two-year clinical randomized placebo controlled research study funded by the National Institutes of Health collaborating with University of Washington and tribal communities to assess traditional medicine/touch therapies outcomes on dementia family caregivers.

Results

Screened over 75 elders, identified chronic disease and delivered, interventions, published 3 peer reviewed journal articles on outcomes. Results led to the establishment of numerous policy initiatives, the opening of Integrative Medicine and Massage therapy clinics in tribal health centers.

2002

Action

Participates in the Nuxalk Nation, Bella Coola, Canada, Oolichan Crisis Conference and presents “Cultural and nutritional significance of oolichan grease in the health of Coastal Salish”.

Results

Increased tribal awareness and improved uses of Oolichan grease (oil) as a health benefit to improve Pacific Northwest coastal native specific health. 

Develops online course on Ooligan Grease. Creates 20-minute documentary on Ooligan Traditions.

2001

Action

Launches “Nutrients for Natives”, a project along with “Project Access” that delivers pro bono physical and mental health care including traditional foods and nutritional supplementation for tribal elders with diabetes type 2.

1996

Action

Presents on “Community Trauma and Development” at International Seminar on Development and Self-determination among Indigenous Peoples of the North”, University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Results

Yupik and Inuit communities were able to press their concerns about the consequences of the Alaskan Native Settlement Act (early 1970s) and its contribution to increased suicides in these communities.

1996-2006

Action

Launches tribal food revitalization trainings with Pacific Northwest tribal communities to include Diabetes Prevention and Post trauma recovery.

Results

Spearheads the restoration of tribal traditional food feasts with annual gatherings that reach over 700 people at Port Gamble tribe.

Delivers over 30 1-3 day workshops to train the clinicians in culturally competent health and food systems. Seasonal Feasting restored for tribes in the Coastal Northwest of the United States and Coastal Southwest of Canada.

2015

Action

Dr. Sawut Pawan and Dr. Osmanjan Yakup from Xinjang University in East Turkistan (west China) to study indigenous knowledge in the Pacific Northwest. 2015.

Results

Dr. Pawan and Dr. Yakup authored a special article published in the CWIS Fourth World Journal discussing the cultural traditions of Uyghurs in their homeland.

Also published additional research on Cultural Genocide by the Chinese Government in Uyghuristan.

Delivered an interview on Radio Free Asia in January 2018. Listen here. 

2015

Action

Celebrates 25 years of indigenous education providing Certificate and Master’s Degrees.

Results

The CWIS 2 year Certificate and Master’s program enabled over twenty-five graduate students to obtain self designed certificates and Masters degrees in the fields Fourth World Studies, Negotiations, Traditional Medicine, Consciousness Studies and over 500 interns.

2002-1996

Action

Delivered a public education forum and radio production hosted at St. Martin’s College “The New World War and Fourth World Nations supported” Washington Commission on the Humanities, Seattle, WA.

Results

Develops 2 courses for Evergreen State College and the Northwest Indian College; American Indian Leadership and Indian Policy 1607 – 2003.

Organizes and conducts three day workshops for indigenous peoples and their caregivers, on Traditional Medicine, Culture and Foods Diabetes Type 2 for Salish, Sahaptian and Anishnabek peoples in Pacific Northwest USA Canada Northeast Canada and rural Mexico. These workshops train community health providers, nurses physicians and pharmacists and lead to a book and online course.

2008

Action

Publishes “Cultural Connections, A Teacher’s Guide for cross-cultural education (K-12)” and distributed to schools in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Results

Elementary and Secondary schools in three English Speaking Countries used the guide to enhance learning among youth about indigenous peoples in their localities.

2008

Action

1 year training of 2 American Indian researchers at the MA and PhD level who received an NIH minority research grant under CWIS in the conduct of clinical research with tribal communities.

2005

Action

National Institutes of Health funds CWIS to conduct two minority research clinical training mentorships for 1 year each.

Results

Two American Indian researchers at the MA and PhD level received training in the conduct of tribal participatory clinical research methods.

1996

Action

Sponsors “Land, Politics and Bigotry” conference in Seattle Washington attended by sixty representatives of Indian governments, environmental, and anti-bigotry organizations. Seattle, Washington.

Results

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians involving 52 Tribal delegations from Washington, Idaho, Western Montana, Oregon and southern Alaska conduct a regional discussion to facilitate tribal government responses to the adverse effects of anti-Indian behaviors on and near their reservations. Read More.

1988

Action

The Funding Exchange provides support for CWIS to develop public policy regarding social conflict and bigotry. Read More.

1986-1992

Action

Conducts seminal investigative research and reporting on the Wise Use and Neo Nazi movement in the Pacific Northwest.

Results

Publication: “The Anti Indian Movement on the Tribal Frontier” which forecasted the penetration of right wing groups into county, state and federal governments in the United States forming an increased climate of official bigotry against American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Hawaiian Natives, African Americans, and Spanish Speaking immigrants and migrants from Mexico and Central/South America. Read More.

1990

Action

CWIS facilitates the “Indian Leadership Forum” to prepare and release communiqués on the impact of globalization on Fourth World nations in connection with the World Trade Organization meeting.

2013

Action

CWIS develops the Tribal Economies Initiative based on a Memorandum of Understanding between CWIS, the University of Washington and the Quinault Indian Nation. Photo Credit: Erika Nortemann

2012

Action

CWIS drafts a plan for the Tribal Wealth Index: An innovative way to measure tribal wealth to include indigenous concepts of wealth as a basis for promoting social, economic, political and cultural balance in reservation communities.

Results

CWIS proposed that the US National Science Foundation provide funding for fully developing and applying the Tribal Wealth Index on six reservation. The National Science Foundation declined to provide the needed funding.

2004

Action

CWIS convenes the conference on Tribal Economic Development with the Lummi and Quileute Nations to identify development options under tribal control.

2009

Action

Co-drafts language incorporated into US President Barack Obama’s Executive Order on Federal Agency Consultation with tribal governments.

2009

Action

Drafts the “Tribal White Paper on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation for inclusion in White House Policy on Climate change in relation to Indian communities”.

1989

Action

Drafts language for inclusion in the Centennial Accords, State of Washington and Federally Recognized Indian Tribes, 1989. Read More.

2004

Action

CWIS convenes day long Dialogue with 15 leaders on Protected Knowledge and Tribally Directed Research symposium, Seattle. 2004.

2002

Action

Fifty-tribal governments at the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians approve CWIS policy resolution: “Treaty Rights, BioCultural Security and Protecting Traditional Cultural and Resource Rights”.