By Renee Lewis / Source TRT World
TAHOLAH, Washington State – The Quinault Indian Nation’s creation story says the first humans climbed out of a clamshell thousands of years ago. The Quinault have made their homes on the shores of the Pacific Ocean ever since.
For hundreds of years, their territory extended up the river to Lake Quinault and along the Pacific coast to Joe Creek. As Europeans began settling in their lands in the 19th century, their historic territory was reduced. By the time the US federal government established the Quinault Reservation in 1856, it was on a fraction of the lands the tribes that came together on the reservation had once inhabited.
Still, the Quinault Indian Nation is one of the few tribal groups in the United States not to have been completely dislocated from their original lands by European settlers.
Their current headquarters, the historic village of Taholah — home to 800 people — lies at the mouth of the Quinault River in Washington state, about 145 kilometres west of the state capital, Olympia.
Now, despite their history on the land, climate change and the ever-present threat of tsunamis, means they must relocate the Taholah village to higher ground.