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Climate and Health Perspectives

Voices of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

This series of short videos was developed during a three-day digital storytelling workshop with members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. The pilot project explored digital storytelling as a method for building partnerships, understanding local climate impacts and raising awareness about community concerns. Each story touches on different cultural traditions and resources already threatened by climate change and the impacts on individual and community identity and wellbeing.

Each participant developed their own narrative and chose their own visuals to portray their story. The videos represent multigenerational tribal voices.

Special thanks to the StoryCenter for providing technical assistance for the project.

Cycle of Life

Danny talks about his lifelong love of salmon fishing, which continues to be a major source of sustenance for his family and the broader Warm Springs community. He touches on the changes he is witnessing and adapting to, as water temperatures rise, and he reflects on the importance of addressing what's happening with the local environment, before it's too late.


Survival

Karlen shares her desire to protect the land in and around Warm Springs, which for her is a way of also protecting tribal culture. She talks about the impact of increased wildfires and air quality on children and elderly residents, and how her efforts as a firefighter led her to get involved in documenting local greenhouse gas emissions.


Changing Seasons

Neal recalls his love of the huckleberry season, when as a child he went with his family up into the mountains to pick berries. He remembers the ceremonies, to honor various foods, and he sadly reveals the destruction of the huckleberry fields. Neal wonders how the community’s traditions will continue to shift, as the impacts of climate change continue to play out.


Through the Eyes of a Native Veteran

In this story, Tamera talks about her work in the Warm Springs community to ensure everyone has adequate heat during the winter and air conditioning in the summer. She has witnessed the impacts of extreme heat and cold snaps on the community. She also points to the infrastructure which is likely to fail during longer periods of use. She challenges those who refuse to believe that climate change is real and urges viewers to acknowledge what is happening.


Water is Life

Scott remembers when Warm Springs residents didn’t give a thought to whether or not their drinking water sources were safe, and contrasts this with recent events that have suggested blue-green algae is making the tap water in the area undrinkable. He recalls how his grandfather told him he needed to “choose his battle,” and shares that he has found it, in the form of his ongoing concerns about access to clean water.


Ready

Lorena is a young woman who works with the Warm Springs Emergency Preparedness program. In her story, she shares the challenges her step-father has faced in finding agricultural work due to changes in the seasons, and the impact this has had on her family. She also talks about rising food prices and concerns about water shortages. Lorena ends by acknowledging she never expected to see impacts of climate change so close to home.


View all Climate and Health videos on YouTube

 

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