3rd Annual Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples Conference:
Environment, Culture and Indigenous Sovereignty in the Americas
The University of Oregon will host the 3rd Annual Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples Conference and Student Symposium: Environment, Culture and Indigenous Sovereignty in the Americas on December 2-3, 2014. The University will welcome Patricia Cochran as the keynote speaker. Ms. Cochran is Executive Director of the Alaska Native Science Commission (ANSC), an organization that works to create links and collaborations among scientists, researchers and Alaska Native communities. The conference will also feature presentations of research conducted by over 60 UO students and 4 visiting indigenous students.
Tuesday, December 2nd
5:00 pm: Student Poster Session and Reception
7:00 pm: Keynote Lecture – Download the PPT presentation here: Cochran_UO_12-2-2014
Wednesday, December 3rd (Many Nations Longhouse)
Panels feature visiting tribal students from other Universities, and UO students engaged in research on environment, culture and sovereignty in the Americas. UO Students are enrolled in one of three classes:
• ENVS 411/511 – Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples in the United States
• HC 434: Climate and Culture in the Americas
• HC 444: Decolonizing Research: The Northern Paiute History Project
Agenda Overview for 12/3/2014
9:00: – 9:10: Welcome and opening remarks (coffee and light breakfast at 8:45am)
9:10 – 10:20: Decolonizing research: Traditional knowledge, History and Science
10:30 – 12:00: Climate Impacts and Culture
12:00 – 12:50: Lunchtime discussion with Patricia Cochran and Linda Kruger, USDA Forest Service PNW Research Station
1:00 – 2:15: Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
2:15 – 3:15: Case Studies
3:15 – 3:30: Closing remarks
Through this conference, three courses at the University of Oregon will come together in a variety of ways to exchange ideas, methodologies and research related to culture, sovereignty and indigenous peoples. These courses will explore separate issues, but have related themes including the nexus between traditional knowledge and science, historic and future threats to indigenous sovereignty, and the impacts of changing environments on indigenous culture. All students enrolled in these courses will have an opportunity to present their research papers through poster presentations, and several students will have the opportunity to give oral presentations.
1. Decolonized Research: Traditional Knowledge, History and ScienceAll three courses will explore the nexus of history, traditional knowledge and western thought and science that informs present-day decisions about indigenous resources and ways of life. Epistemologies of knowledge among indigenous peoples may look very different than the epistemologies of science. And yet, in the context of changing environments, the threats of climate change, and other events that are shaping indigenous communities today, traditional knowledge holds an important place in informing indigenous strategies for responding to these changing times. Decolonized research methods that rely on tribal leadership and direction can result in knowledge about indigenous issues that is culturally relevant and respectful of knowledge that must be held sacred by tribes and knowledge holders.
2. Cultural Values: Indigenous peoples are often tied to the earth through a relationship of reciprocity that shapes indigenous understanding of how impacts to the earth relate to impacts to indigenous culture. Understanding cultural values can more directly relate to how indigenous peoples may react or respond to significant changes. In the context of climate change, cultural resources may be threatened by changes in temperature and precipitation, rising sea levels, drought and wildfire. These impacts may directly threaten plant and animal species, or result in a loss of access that indigenous peoples have to these resources (and cultural relations).
3. Historic and Current Threats to Indigenous Sovereignty: The infrastructure of colonization has resulted in geographic borders and fixed allocations of rights that limit tribal access to historic lands, settlements and cultural resources. Climate change, viewed by Indigenous Scholar Daniel Wildcat, as another “removal” of indigenous peoples is threatening tribal sovereignty by further limits on access to cultural resources, and the forced relocation of indigenous peoples from their lands because of climate change.
For More Information:
Kathy Lynn, UO Environmental Studies, 541-346-5777, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Carey, UO Clark Honors College, 541-346-8077, email@example.com
Jennifer O’Neal, UO Clark Honors College and Libraries, 541-346-1899, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Hatfield, UO Clark Honors College and History, 541-346-1977, email@example.com.