The Nature Conservancy

Washington's First Stewards

Tribal and indigenous leaders, keepers of traditional knowledge and scientists shared what they have witnessed as our world’s climate has changed.

Dancers from the Makah, Hoh and Quileute tribes and the Quinault Indian Nation welcome First Stewards participants at a reception held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Micah McCarty of the Makah performs a wolf dance to prepare the space at the National Museum of the American Indian for the opening reception.

Micah McCarty receives a ceremonial chief’s stick and a whisk representing wisdom from Lefiti Pese, secretary of the Office of Samoan Affairs and a High Chief in American Samoa.

The First Stewards symposium included cultural activities available to the public. John Calvo from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands showed children how to create figures from seagrass.

A student journalist from the Pacific Islands interviewed Ed Johnstone, fisheries policy director for the Quinault Indian Nation and the leader of the West Coast panel.

Nelson Kanuk, the 17-year-old Witness from Alaska, speaks to the symposium as other witnesses and panel leaders look on.

Dancers from Saipan prepare to dance at the opening reception.

The Pacific Island delegation brought a Flying Proa from Guam to exhibit. It stayed for the Living Earth Festival that followed the symposium at the museum.

Gina Cosentino, right, the Conservancy’s director of indigenous and communal conservation, sat on the Looking Forward panel, which explored what the future holds for indigenous people and the rest of the world as we all adapt to climate change.

Witnesses and panel leaders gather to describe lessons learned from the First Stewards symposium.


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