Our Landscape, Ourselves: Integrating Process and Traditional food Principles for Wellbeing + Resilience in the Swinomish Tribal Community
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As the first Native American tribe to create a Climate Adaptation Plan in 2010, the Swinomish Tribal Community in Western Washington have identified their vulnerabilities both in the present day with respect to mental and physical health as well as future impacts to their well being from localized impacts due climate change. This thesis attempts to convey the story of the Swinomish peoples and the processes and techniques that have historically and in the future will (re)connect them to their heritage and the land(scape) they co-exist and cultivate. This thesis proposes that the implicit ecological goals and practices of landscape architecture can play a role in helping to redefine and reinforce that relationship. Through informational interviews and site analysis, the design concept of a ‘Traditional Edible Buffer’ emerged. Each word in ‘Traditional Edible Buffer’ has its own practical application but also works collectively as a system. It is a systems-thinking proposal that reintroduces the importance of native plants and an ancient form of shellfish aquaculture. The Traditional Edible Buffer is intended to reveal the dynamic processes, seasonality and growth of food knowledge within the Swinomish community over time. It is a practical application of culturally-significant knowledge of traditional foods integrated with the physical landscape providing greater resilience and wellbeing for the Swinomish Tribal Community.