Whiteswan Environmental, 2016 recipient.
Photo authorized by Kari Neumeyer
Northwest Treaty Tribes

2016 Social Innovation Award

Whiteswan Environmental, WE (One Mind for the Purpose of the Work) has moved swiftly across the international transboundary border to build relationships and provide education that supports intergenerational knowledge democracy amongst cultures who share stewardship of the Salish Sea. WE organized the Coast Salish Mini University, the historical storyboard dedication at the San Juan Island National Parks Centennial Celebration and are the vision keeper for the Coast Salish Tribal Heritage Field Institute and Interpretive Center.

WE hopes to inspire a continued measure of resilience and offers these thoughts to ponder: as the Chi'lange'lth (Inherent Birth Rights) is superseding treaties in First Nation territories (Louise Mandell, Q.C. First Nation Aboriginal & Treaty Rights lawyer) and as our treaties and public trust doctrines are two essential tools to help protect our environment (Mary C. Woods, Environmental Law Scholar), we envision a Coast Salish Tribal Heritage Field Institute will forever allow our people to practice their treaty rights and inherent birth rights and in doing so, offer a measure of cultural, historical, scientific, and ecological health protection and sustainability that can be modeled across the United States and Canada as they also work with their community with one mind.

Past Awards