History of Tobacco

History of Traditional Tobacco in the Northwest Tribes

For thousands of years Traditional Tobacco has been a respected plant of many Northwest tribes. Many of our tribal elders and leaders are committed to the protecting and preserving the value and teachings oftraditional tobacco.Tobacco has an important role within our Tribal communities’ way of life. Traditional tobacco was for ceremony, healing, dances, and in the sweat lodge. Many of ourNorthwest tribes have their own tribal stories of how tobacco served tribal people through prayer –while other tribes grow and harvest the plant today. The tobacco plant is sacred, and is used to this day for spiritual, ceremonial, and medicinal purposes. Unfortunately, we continue to have too many Native people who use commercial tobacco and experience a range of chronic health issues. Smoking is a huge risk factor, and we encourage our tribal clinics to provide smoking cessation to benefit our tribal member and help promote living a longer and healthier life. Through traditional teachings, health promotion and education, tribal leaders across the nation can provide leadership to focus on educating communities on the importance of traditional tobacco and discourage commercial tobacco use Promote campaigns, messaging that focuses on tobacco health education, prevention, policy design, development and implementation around smoke-free tribal campuses and facilities.