Cowlitz Indian Tribe and WSU Vancouver to co-host two-day Zoom conference on ethics and responsibilities for Columbia River water management

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Washington State University Vancouver’s Native American Affairs and Collective for Social and Environmental Justice are co-hosting the seventh annual Lower Columbia River, Estuary: “One River, Ethics Matter” conference. Attendees will draw on the ethical foundations provided by Indigenous cultural leaders and western religious leaders, as well as lessons from the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, to advance justice and stewardship for the Columbia River in a time of climate change. 

“These discussions are going to be important as we transition to a new presidential administration and the Columbia River Treaty is renegotiated,” said Taylor Aalvik, director of the Natural Resources Department for Cowlitz Indian Tribe. “The United States treaty-negotiating team has excluded tribes in the past, and it will be necessary in the future that we are at the table during the negotiations.”

“One River, Ethics Matter” will cover the impact of COVID-19 and past epidemics on tribal communities; the impact of dams on the lower Columbia River and estuary; floodplain real estate for Portland/Vancouver including basin-wide impacts and the need for basin-wide flood risk review; and youth, climate change and the river.

The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10. It is free and open to the public, but registration is required. For more information and to register, visit celp.org/ethics-estuary/.

Speakers include:

  • Philip Harju, chairman, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • Mel Netzhammer, chancellor, WSU Vancouver
  • Tanna Engdahl, spiritual leader, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • John Osborn MD, Ethics and Treaty Project
  • The Rev. John Rosenberg
  • Mike Iyall, tribal historian, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • Christine Dupres, tribal historic preservation officer and Tribal Council member, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • Nathan Reynolds, director, Cultural Resources Department, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • John Marsh, policy analyst, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • Jim Heffernan, policy analyst, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission
  • Emma Johnson, tribal historic preservation assistant, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • Shay Way, fisheries biologist, Cowlitz descendant
  • Rosalie Fish, student, Cowlitz descendant
  • Taylor Aalvik, director, Natural Resources Department, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • Celia Delaney, mental health counselor, Cowlitz Tribe and Human Services
  • Pauline Terbasket, executive director, Okanagan Nation Alliance

About Cowlitz Indian Tribe

Cowlitz Indian Tribe is a sovereign nation located in Southwest Washington. The Tribe is a leader in the protection and restoration of Columbia River, smelt, salmon and habitat. Since time began, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe has been a knowledge holder and steward on the Columbia River, ensuring the generations to come can enjoy everything the Columbia River Basin has to offer.

About WSU Vancouver

As one of six campuses of the WSU system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. Both in person and online, the university provides affordable, high-quality baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people and communities it serves. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools and nonprofit organizations. 

# # #

MEDIA CONTACTS

WSU Vancouver:

Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communication, 360-546-9601, brenda_alling@wsu.edu

Cowlitz Indian Tribe: Tiffini Johnson, Natural Resources Department, Cowlitz Indian Tribe, 360-353-9509, tjohnson@cowlitz.org

Share the news: