Photo-6NTWC White Papers


Ground Water Issues

Draft Report of the Technical Advisory Committee on the Capture of Surface Water by Wells: Recommended Technical Methods for Evaluating the Effects of Ground-Water Withdrawals on Surface Water Quantity (August 1998). This paper, on the Washington State Department of Ecology website, addresses the important issue of hydraulic continuity between groundwater and surface water.

Native Cultural Values & Water

Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force Position Paper on The Great Lakes. This position paper is an impressive articulation of the connection between Indigenous cultures and water quality. Following is an excerpt from the Position Paper cover letter:

“Our original teachings from the Creator are essential to our culture. The Creator instructed all parts of creation of their responsibilities. The waters have a responsibility to provide nourishment to Mother Earth, to plant[s] and animals as well as to humans. Humans have the responsibility to honor and give thanks for all parts of Creation. As different entities, we do not interfere with each other’s duties. Human-made pollution and diversions are a few of the abuses towards the waters and their duties. Haudenosaunee teachings warn us that if we continue abusing parts of Creation, those elements will vanish….”

Find a copy of the Position Paper here

Water and People

Challenges at the Interface of Symbolic and Utilitarian Values, is due out from the USDA Forest Service (Pacific Northwest) on March 7, 2008. Of particular note is Chapter 6: People of the River – People of the Salmon Wana Thlama-Nusuxmi Tanánma by Elizabeth Woody (Navajo/Warm Springs/Wasco/Yakama). Following is an excerpt, only one of many examples of Liz’s articulation of Native values pertaining to water and all associated life (which, of course, means all life):

“My tribal ceremonies begin and end with water. The food chiefs are recognized in order from the river to the mountains, and, conversely, in real life, it is the same with water. Water goes from the mountains to the Pacific Ocean as streams, creeks, and rivers, and returns from the Pacific to the mountains, as precipitation. It is our highest medicine and represents the purity of human interactions and respect as we keep it clean and revere its presence in our lives.”

View the publication here

Indian Country & Climate Change

Native Communities and Climate Change: Legal and Policy Approaches to Protect Tribal Legal Rights Report, published by the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado Law School in conjunction with the Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado on September 19, 2007, is available here.

-The 8-page Executive Summary is available here.

“Climate Change, Related Environmental Degradation and Indigenous People,” written by Stephen M. Sachs and published in Indigenous Policy, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Fall 2007. Read more here.

Climate Change Impacts on the United States

The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change. See, in particular, Overview: Native Peoples and Homelands, which discusses such issues as Subsistence Economies and Natural Resources; Cultural Sites, Wildlife, and Natural Resources; and Rights to Water and Other Natural Resources. Written by the National Assessment Synthesis Team, US Global Research Program, published in 2000. More information is available here.