Quinault Leader Named ‘Champion of Change’ by White House

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) congratulated Washington state’s Ed Johnstone for being named a “Champion of Change” today by the White House. The White House honored Johnstone and 11 other local leaders at a ceremony today for their efforts to prepare their communities for the impacts of climate change and extreme weather.

Johnstone, a member of the Quinault Indian Nation who lives in Taholah, earned this recognition because of his leadership in educating the public about climate change’s impacts and readying Indian Country to deal with its consequences.

“This award is well-deserved recognition of Ed’s national leadership in addressing the impact of climate change on Indian Country,” said Cantwell, the Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. From the first treaties with Indian Nations, the federal government has acknowledged that Native people are the stewards of our land. Ed has continued this proud tradition, bringing together hundreds of coastal Tribal leaders and climate change experts for the inaugural First Stewards climate change symposium last year in Washington, D.C.

I was honored to speak at the symposium and have been proud to work with Ed over the years on fisheries and climate issues in the Northwest. I congratulate Ed on this significant honor and look forward to working with him in the future on these critical issues for our coastal Tribes and all of Washington State.”

The Champions of Change program is part of President Obama’s “Winning the Future” initiative, which spotlights the extraordinary work that Americans do every day to improve their communities. Each week, the White House names new Champions of Change and invites them to the White House to share their ideas for bettering communities around the country.