Tribal Leader Honored

Quinault Tribal Leader Honored by White House

On Thursday, April 11, 2013, the White House honored twelve citizens, businesses, and community leaders who are Champions of Change for working to prepare their communities for the consequences of climate change. This includes Quinault Indian Nation member Edward Johnstone of Taholah.

Johnstone spoke on the impact that climate change has had locally and what QIN has been doing.

“The observations that we have of climate or climate change, or change is very concerning. So we have taken several actions that we put into play as the Quinault Indian Nation, working with our neighboring tribes in the inter-governmental policy council, with the State of Washington and the federal government, to rise the level of awareness of what’s happening to us.”

Johnstone serves as the Quinault Indian Nation Policy Spokesperson, serving as Quinault’s voice for alerting the world to climate change on the ecosystems and fisheries that supports local culture and economy.

Johnstone said that climate change is something that needs to be a focus not only for today, but for the future.

“We are always thinking about the next generation, in fact the 7th generation.”

The individuals highlighted as Champions are seen as leaders and innovators working to build community resilience by preparing for increasingly extreme weather and other costly climate related impacts.

Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality said “This week, we look forward to welcoming Champions of Change who are doing smart, innovative work to protect the health, safety and prosperity of their communities in the face of climate change.”

The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, the White House features a group of Americans – individuals, businesses and organizations – who are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.