Aalto University helps Quileute nation relocate after whales warn of impending tsunami

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Aalto University helps Native Americans relocate after whales warn of impending tsunami

yle UUTISET 9.4.2015

A rare Native American tribe from the Pacific Northwest says whales have informed them that a natural disaster will soon wipe out their reservation in Washington State. They have started a Move to Higher Ground project to move their community to a new location. By a series of coincidences, Finland’s Aalto University was selected by the tribe’s council to draw up the building plans.

Vuori meressä
The Quileute community of La Push, Washington lies on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in an earthquake-prone area of the Cascade Mountains. Image: Trev Harris, Aalto-yliopisto

Finland’s Aalto University is helping a rare North American indigenous people design a new hometown that is out of harm’s way, in a cooperative effort with a backstory as unlikely as any that could be imagined.

The Quileute tribe of La Push, Washington holds a ritual each year, where every woman, man and child in the reservation summons local whales, dolphins, sharks, seals and other marine species to the community’s beach by playing drums. The tribe’s chief then wades among the animals and interprets the sounds they make.

In 2014, tribal leaders said they received information from the Pacific Ocean whales that a tsunami would soon hit their community. La Push is located at the intersection of three tectonic plates, and is prone to earthquakes of a 9-point magnitude.

The tribe immediately started to make plans to move their community to higher ground. It applied for and received money from both the State of Washington and the federal government to fund the relocation. Read More…

 Source: http://yle.fi/uutiset/aalto_university_helps_native_americans_relocate_after_whales_warn_of_impending_tsunami/7916402

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