Exploration of Modern Indigenous Knowledge and the Power of Indigenous and Western Science

Just another WordPress site

Exploration of Modern Indigenous Knowledge and the Power of Indigenous and Western Science

Teresa Mourad: Water Cooler chat in celebration of Native American Heritage Month. My name is Teresa Mourad Teresa Mourad: And I’m the Director of Education and diversity programs at the Ecological Society of America Teresa Mourad: And thank you for your presence here for conversation this vital topic exploration of Modern Indigenous Knowledge and the Power of Indigenous and Western Science. So before we get further, let me explain some of the logistics Teresa Mourad: This is an informal conversation which means you are very much invited to be involved and with all your ideas. So if you’d like to join in the conversation, you can click on the participant icon and the raise your hand button you can look for that Teresa Mourad: Blue hand to raise your hand if you’d like to speak and we, of course, we asked you to please keep your mic muted until we call upon you Teresa Mourad: You are also welcome to post comments in the chat box at any time Teresa Mourad: And just to let everybody know we will be recording this event we normally don’t but this one is special, and we’ve had a lot of people requesting that so Teresa Mourad: We wanted to honor that request. And also, I think, a lot more people need to hear about this topic. So, so that’s why we’ll be recording it Teresa Mourad: So if you are not comfortable with your name being broadcast or, you know, feel free to change your name you you are definitely you know, welcome to do that as well. Okay, and Teresa Mourad: I like to actually take a moment to acknowledge the native peoples in Washington DC area. So today, the ESA headquarters sits on the ancestral lands of off the Piscataway and Anacostan (Nacotchtank) and peoples Teresa Mourad: And that’s kind of between the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River. So you can see I’ve kind of made a little circle where the pic Teresa Mourad: Piscataway peoples are in the, I guess this is in the 1600s and also I wanted to acknowledge them you know that they’re still present today, as I understand, which is really encouraging for me to learn Teresa Mourad: And unfortunately, the Anacostan peoples are no longer, you know, found as anacostan since they have of been Teresa Mourad: merged with some of the other tribes in the area, but also if any of you are Native Americans on this meeting we honor you and your people as well. Wherever you might be Teresa Mourad: So it’s now my distinct pleasure to introduce two amazing individuals who are both leaders in our community Teresa Mourad: James Rattling Leaf Senior is coordinator of climate partnerships for the Great Plains tribal water alliance Teresa Mourad: and he’s also a member of the South Dakota’s Rosebud Sioux Tribe and is one of the principal investigators of the North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center at the University of Colorado Boulder Teresa Mourad: He has been advisor collaborator on the board of numerous consortia and committees, I can’t even count them Teresa Mourad: Currently, he’s also on the ESA Public Affairs Committee and is the newly elected Chair of ESAs Traditional Ecological Knowledge section Teresa Mourad: We are so honored to have you here James. My second guest is Robert Newman, University of the North Teresa Mourad: University of North Dakota, where his professor and graduate program director Teresa Mourad: So Bob is chair of the Wildlife Society’s Climate Change and Wildlife working group and also on the board of the native peoples wildlife management working group Teresa Mourad: He also mentors Native students during the summer camps and and he’s also on the planning team of ESA’s is TEK section and chair of the communication and engagement section of USA Teresa Mourad: And this September. He also joined as a task force on diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, so thank you both for your dedication to ESA. Before we begin, James. Perhaps I can invite you to honor us with a blessing. Yes James Rattling Leaf: Well, thank you, three. So again, and let me begin first by welcoming you in my language and greeting you in my language, which is a Lakota language James Rattling Leaf: Prayer in Lakota. So welcome to James Rattling Leaf: ESA’s Water Cooler Chat and talking about traditional ecological knowledge and and an honor to be with you and to serve in this new role for me. And as I think about this new responsibility to be the section chair, you certainly want to bring James Rattling Leaf: You all in into this to this conversation and starting this maybe new new era, if you will, in and working with indigenous people and James Rattling Leaf: When I think about that, you know, I think about how we begin our meetings and when we come together like this, whether it’s virtual or in person James Rattling Leaf: It’s important that we acknowledge each other in a good way, in a respectful way. And so I have a, I have a good friend hope she’s with us today

James Rattling Leaf: Her name is Gemma Lockhart, and she’s from my tribe that Rosebud Sioux Tribe and she’s a renowned reclaimed filmmaker a storyteller and James Rattling Leaf: And I asked her, specifically today if she would help me today and it helped me in this work today and Bob as we talk about important things related to our culture’s and so Gemma you there with us. I’ll turn the floor over to you right now Gemma Lockhart: Thank you. Thank you, James. I want you to know as I’m sitting here that I am surrounded by children who are listening and with us in this moment Gemma Lockhart: To Coachella will be love for this day in this life, please help us give us strength and courage to do the right things today and the days to come Gemma Lockhart: Prayer in Lakota James Rattling Leaf: Thank you, Jim, thank you. Teresa Teresa Mourad: Okay, thank you so much for your words of encouragement and really appreciate that Teresa Mourad: So let’s turn to the subject. I don’t know about you all. But my mind lit up when I heard the juxtaposition of modern indigenous and Western and science in the same breath Teresa Mourad: So I think we’re in for very interesting hour. And so I’m going to invite our guests to kind of address the question what is traditional ecological knowledge to your, to your view James Rattling Leaf: Right, Well, I’ll begin again. Thank you for reminding ourselves again about the importance of this this topic today James Rattling Leaf: And again welcome to all of you here listening into us and I appreciate the opportunity to speak. You know, I really as I get older James Rattling Leaf: As a human being, as I get older, as a Lakota man I become more aware of my responsibility of what I know how I know what I’ve learned and how I learned James Rattling Leaf: There’s so many people that’s been part of my life that helped me understand what it means to be a Lakota and so I’ll speak from that perspective today as we James Rattling Leaf: Begin to try to understand and define what is traditional ecological knowledge and I think that you know when I think about Gemma’s prayer James Rattling Leaf: You know she ended it with a term called “Prayer in Lakota” and that means, kind of, literally, literally all my relations. So when I think about, you know, James Rattling Leaf: That and how it reminds us again is, is who we are and our connection to the earth how we’re connected to, to the land to the water and to one another James Rattling Leaf: And you know, that’s a, that’s a guiding principle for our people to always remind ourselves when we end a talk when we enter prayer when the entire ceremony that that’s reminding of our responsibility not greater not lesser but next to. And I think the idea of James Rattling Leaf: Of responsibility and reciprocity and relevance and relationality is a key part of how we think about what we know and how we know it James Rattling Leaf: You know, our ancestors again for many for many years, or as we say time immemorial, long time ago James Rattling Leaf: Understood their relation to the world and how they lived in the world, how they understood the environment and how they make decisions to live and to thrive and to sustain James Rattling Leaf: And that knowledge was passed down through oral right. So when I think about traditional recollection. I think about oral history. Number one, James Rattling Leaf: And how our ancestors transmitted that knowledge from each generation to each generation and that was really important because it was a great responsibility for them to James Rattling Leaf: We didn’t have publications. But we had James Rattling Leaf: Elders and they were our publications. They were the ones that were responsible had the wherewithal and the gifts James Rattling Leaf: To understand things and to store them to share them to understand them provide context and then pass it on to the next generation James Rattling Leaf: So oral tradition has been part of our just our history or traditions. It’s been recorded on also things called winter accounts James Rattling Leaf: So when I think about traditional ecological knowledge I think about winter counts and using symbology and colors and how we documented occurrences how he documented events we documented environmental James Rattling Leaf: Disturbances and we made a decision we couldn’t put everything on a winter count but we made a decision what we did James Rattling Leaf: So there was this understanding about priorities in a way that we did that. So I think about winter counts and sort of those items and I then I think about as we think about traditional knowledge I think about the role of spirituality James Rattling Leaf: You know, it’s not just a knowledge, in a way, it’s not just ones and zeros James Rattling Leaf: It’s an adherence to understanding something greater than ourselves not dividing ourselves up or not alienate ourselves from those things that we don’t understand yet but they’re there. We acknowledge them. And I think, as I understand it, being around

James Rattling Leaf: Our culture, in our people that those are the sorts of things that were reminded of to continue to practice now also I think about going forward. We really encourage this term modern James Rattling Leaf: And sometimes the term traditional part of that that first word is. I think it gets misunderstood or gets misconstrued. It sounds like something from the past James Rattling Leaf: It is it is partly that but also I want to say that that we work with the past, but also we work in the present and we work for the future James Rattling Leaf: So our knowledge and our understanding of things, you know, goes back and forth along that that spectrum that continuum James Rattling Leaf: And I think that’s a that’s unique to our culture’s and maybe other cultures have the same view of understanding the world and understanding ourselves. So those are things that I think about when I think about traditional it’s not dead James Rattling Leaf: It’s not gone James Rattling Leaf: It’s still practice today by many of our indigenous people around the world. And the idea and the great interest ESA now to begin to chart a course James Rattling Leaf: To think about the future and how we need to really think about this, this another way of knowing. And finally, let me conclude by saying that James Rattling Leaf: I think, I think we also have to think about was what I call the third space or an ethical space James Rattling Leaf: ESA is, I would say if it’s a fair assessment is primarily a Western approach science organization James Rattling Leaf: Now with with us those like me coming in with a traditional view, which is a knowledge, you know, that’s another system of knowing James Rattling Leaf: And so you have two systems. And I think my work, speaking of myself. My work is really not about changing and Western approach or making a change James Rattling Leaf: Or then also trying to change the traditional knowledge part or adapted or things like that. I think we have to respect the integrity of both systems and understand what they are. So then we think about a third space or unethical space so windows to come together James Rattling Leaf: We’ll find ways where there’s we begin to understand each other a little bit more and then in that understanding, then we can find places where we can work together James Rattling Leaf: And that’s where I think I think in terms of what I’m going forward. When I what I want to do in this work, but also other word James Rattling Leaf: Is to really promote that idea and I have, I have a lot of great colleagues in the First Nations in Canada who are working on this idea of ethical space. It’s not a unique idea to me, but I really think that to make progress where we can really solve and James Rattling Leaf: Really develop solutions to our real serious problems that impact all of us, I think, ESA really is a position now James Rattling Leaf: To really begin to think about this. To address this, but also promote the idea and to bring other people in so James Rattling Leaf: I don’t separate the knowledge from the people that people in knowledge I think indigenous people James Rattling Leaf: Will want to be a part of this work going forward. And so we want to create an environment, a place, a safe place a dynamic place an encouraging place for all of us to come together to do work. So I’ll stop there with the opening remarks. Thank you Teresa Mourad: Thank you, James. That was amazing. That was a great opening. Let me invite Bob to share his remarks and thoughts Bob Newman: Okay, thank you. Teresa, and thank you, James. I want to start by saying that I’m coming to you from Bob Newman: I’m in eastern North Dakota right now, which is on the lands of the Pembina and Red Lake Bands of Ojibwe and the Dakota. Oyate, we still have a fairly significant presence of Bob Newman: Native Americans here in the state of North Dakota Bob Newman: There’s a Bob Newman: Reasonable amount of land that is managed by Bob Newman: Indigenous people and so they’re still here. There’s no question about it and Bob Newman: One of the things that I really appreciate about James being here Bob Newman: And I also recognized a lot of names as people started coming into the meeting. We have other indigenous people in attendance Bob Newman: So I’m very humbled to even be part of this I’m grateful that James and others are willing to come into ESA and share with us their perspectives and knowledge and Bob Newman: Understanding of the world because it’s not something that if you’re not native that you ever encountered in any of the education that you had Bob Newman: And I think there’s a lot of value there. And I guess my main interest is making sure that ESA membership and just people in general. Understand that appreciate

Bob Newman: What we would have no other way to even know about. You don’t know what you don’t know. And until I moved to North Dakota. I did not realize I didn’t have any sense at all of Bob Newman: The depth and breadth of indigenous knowledges and I’m still learning. I still have a lot to learn. I hope to continue learning, there’s a lot that’s been done. And there’s a lot that’s been done by members of ESA in the past in the traditional ecological knowledge section Bob Newman: I think we’re very fortunate to have somebody with James’s experience and background Bob Newman: That is willing to engage with us and I think that I won’t say too much more other than Bob Newman: For anybody that I mean we have a huge turnout here for water cooler chat, which is awesome. I’m going to put in a little plug for Bob Newman: ESA 2021 the conference. We’re going to do another symposium. We’re going to do another workshop, they’re going to be oriented a little bit differently than what we did last year. And that’s another opportunity to bring Bob Newman: Native Science Indigenous Ecologists into ESA so that we can learn more from them, but I’m just going to encourage everybody to do a lot of listening, ask questions, but do a lot of listening. Be open-minded Bob Newman: And maybe one of the things that I wrestle with all the time is, don’t try and fit traditional ecological knowledge into Bob Newman: You know the structure that you have been learning about in the formal education that you’ve had Bob Newman: That I don’t think that’s the best way to mesh things or to integrate things I think that we have two different knowledge systems and they each stand on their own. So there might be some parallels Bob Newman: There certainly I mean it traditional knowledge is the ultimate long term data set at that let’s a fairly superficial understanding of what TEK is about, though. So don’t do that. Listen and think about Bob Newman: What what people that Bob Newman: Are. This is their tradition. This is their culture. How they explain things and and try and understand it on those terms, not on the terms that you come in with. So thank you all for, for being here Teresa Mourad: Thank you, Bob. I think that’s a really important message that you’re saying to listen to the indigenous way of thinking and way of understanding, rather than trying to Teresa Mourad: impose our own perspective on to their frameworks. So let me see if anybody would like to ask a question or comment at this time Teresa Mourad: I know there are also lots of Teresa Mourad: Indigenous in the on the call. And I want to also welcome you to share your perspective, if you’re a comfortable Teresa Mourad: Okay, so Bob Newman: If I could add one more thing. Teresa Bob Newman: Yes, I’m going to put it in the chat. Because people might not realize that ESA some time ago Bob Newman: Published a section of Bob Newman: In the ecological applications journal. I was browsing through that again this morning and Bob Newman: I think there’s a lot of really powerful and useful information and insights in that as well. If you’re new and learning about TEK. It’s not a bad place to start. There’s been a lot of lot written about it Bob Newman: Again humbled by the fact that some of the authors of some of those papers are here today, some of the people that have been involved in the TEK section for far longer than I have are here today to but Bob Newman: If you really want to dig into this. There’s a lot of resources out there too and Bob Newman: You can do a lot of learning on your own Teresa Mourad: Great, thank you Teresa Mourad: Yes, I think that’s also a very important idea about this water cooler chats is, you know, people have resources that they would like to share Teresa Mourad: You know, if you’ve already been incorporating traditional ecological knowledge in some of your work, you know, Teresa Mourad: Definitely feel free to share, you know, any resources articles ideas that you might have. So, I guess one of the things that we were trying to get at with this Teresa Mourad: Water Cooler chat is on the topic is how, how does the power of indigenous knowledge contribute to Western science. I think that’s the sort of one of the things that we are Teresa Mourad: You know, trying to articulate. So James, maybe I can turn to you to, you know, speak to that. What, what do you see as the power of indigenous knowledge and western science James Rattling Leaf: Well, I think you know when. Well this one thought is, again, I’m anxious to hear other folks on the on the meeting today about this question, I guess I would just offer one idea to that question is really is the world languages

James Rattling Leaf: The role of indigenous language. It’s in this. I think we’ve been told James Rattling Leaf: Since time immemorial, that the languages are the conduit to understanding and how we share our understanding of the world and we were facing James Rattling Leaf: A great challenges in the world today of losing our indigenous languages. And so when I think about, you know, power, and that’s a word we used at least to stimulate discussion today is I think when you see James Rattling Leaf: And seeing, you know, Miss Lockhart. So children with her James Rattling Leaf: I, that’s what I think about in terms of James Rattling Leaf: How, there’s a power and it’s those young people now that they can learn our languages and began to work with those languages and there’s a connection to James Rattling Leaf: You know, our elders or knowledge holders, there is a connection to the things that’s been documented about our people through James Rattling Leaf: Archives and there’s a lot of stories there. There’s a lot of information there. Now that’s been documented through the years about our people, some of those things are in our own indigenous languages, some are recordings. So I really think that to really think about James Rattling Leaf: How we really strengthen the knowledge. I think we have to really make a concerted effort to protect and sustain our indigenous languages Teresa Mourad: Thank you. I see a comment from Eileen. I think it is. Would you like to speak Teresa Mourad: I see you. You don’t seem to can’t find your little blue hand but you’re welcome to Eileen Shea: I don’t have my little blue hand. So thank you. Um, I’m wondering if both I’m James and Bob and others who are here looking at me from their screens might want to discuss the possibility that Eileen Shea: That both TEK and Western Science tend to now take a systems approach focusing on the relationships among elements of the environment as well as elements of people groups of people. And I’m wondering if that helps us find that common space that new space that James was talking about James Rattling Leaf: Well, I’ll, uh, I’ll say this. Thank you for the question. Eileen. Good to see you and hear you as well. Thank you for being here James Rattling Leaf: You know I think that’s a good question. I think that the approach, as I see it, you know what, what I’ve been learning in how we’ve been able to, for instance, look at the impact of James Rattling Leaf: Educational on our, on our people, you want to think about, you know, us really understanding what happened to us in terms of how James Rattling Leaf: Education was brought to us as a Western form of education and how for many years now, we’ve been trying to understand the impact. But also, though, Tara put us on a chart for positive. Positive educational experiences. You know, I think about the tribal colleges James Rattling Leaf: And when I think about, I come from a tribal colleges as a student as a graduate, but also I work there so that the Sinte Gleska for eight years and James Rattling Leaf: He was always that he was almost importance of hold ism really understanding. Again, the role of the community, the role of the student, the role of the tribe James Rattling Leaf: And the role of diversification institution. I think those kinds of approaches are, are you know are workable are working and they just need more support. Again, I will say this to anybody else listening, you know, James Rattling Leaf: A great investment is in tribal colleges and we have 35 plus travel colleges across the country James Rattling Leaf: And so they have an approach. They have a system approach, you know, they look at everything they look at and they don’t serve a separate the different domains into James Rattling Leaf: Do segments and things like that. They, they really think about the person, the whole person and try to work around that person to help them prepare them so. So that would be my response is the tribal colleges are one model of how we can look at that system approach Teresa Mourad: James You mentioned is a role of community and a try, but can you give a Teresa Mourad: specific example that you know might kind of illustrate what you see working or happening James Rattling Leaf: Well, I think that, you know, I’m from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and there was just a PSA announcement came out a couple weeks ago, a couple days ago and I shared it with all my networks. It’s called the WoLakota Project. And it’s the James Rattling Leaf: I would say the restoration of bison again to the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Reservation lands. I think it’s 26,000 acres. Now that that’s been designated for a new buffalo heard James Rattling Leaf: And so what that means to me is that again the tribe, the community, the University and the students and everybody involved in this, agreed and supported this idea again of a

James Rattling Leaf: Of a larger scale approach to bring into bringing the buffalo back together again. And so what that means in my mind what that means to us is that we’re restoring we’re strengthening and but it’s also for us James Rattling Leaf: Somebody said that as a buffalo goal. So does the American Indian, I think there’s some really interesting things that we can talk about in terms of what that is James Rattling Leaf: But we know that the buffalo, you know from our good ecological friends here. We know that that you know they have a James Rattling Leaf: positive impact on the landscape, you know, they’re getting sort of indigenous to the northern Great Plains, they, they do these things that help support you know species James Rattling Leaf: And so to me that’s an example again of how we can bring different ways of knowing, to really address something that’s really important to the community and to the tribe James Rattling Leaf: So that’d be one idea again it but the idea the project name is really interesting, right. It’s called WoLakota James Rattling Leaf: And. And really, that’s a really heavy duty name in our culture. It’s really about Peace, they use that term a lot when James Rattling Leaf: When peace was achieved between conflicting people are conflicting entities. So again, we’re talking about sort of restoring renewing again approaching this piece with the Buffalo and the land and the people. So I’ll stop there Teresa Mourad: That’s really interesting. Thank you, James, Bob, would you like to comment Bob Newman: Is there a specific question? Teresa Mourad: Just on this topic, from your perspective, you know, how, how did, how do we achieve that holistic Teresa Mourad: You know, I guess way different from your perspective Bob Newman: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s a good question. It’s, it’s been a long time coming too. We’ve talked about ecosystem management for a long time. For example, but we still focus on fairly narrow slices of ecosystems. When we do stuff like that Bob Newman: So I am Bob Newman: I think it is Bob Newman: It’s an important Bob Newman: Way to look at any question that you’re doing. So what rather than foot. We’re very Western for European Bob Newman: Derived sciences very reductionist Bob Newman: And what that leads is is to missing a lot of connections. So I think that anytime that you are focusing on Bob Newman: And in a practical sense we justify that by saying we can’t do everything we can’t look at everything but I sometimes think that that we miss Bob Newman: Critical connections, because we’re just not paying attention, or we don’t know enough about the system what my suggestion is, is to take a look at the kinds of Bob Newman: Systems that Bob Newman: That indigenous ecologists talk about and work on. Look at how they’re framing the system, how they’re Bob Newman: laying out the problem and the pieces that they’re looking at as James was just describing Bob Newman: And then look for parallels in the work that you’re doing Teresa Mourad: Thank you. I see two hands up. So let’s first talk to Mark and then Tim and I also see Mary Ann who has posted a question, but let’s turn to Mark first Teresa Mourad: Mark jonker, are you, are you with us Teresa Mourad: Hopefully, Teresa Mourad: They’re not hearing you. If, if you’re trying to speak Teresa Mourad: Okay, maybe we’ll turn to mark in a moment. Why don’t we go to Tim first item Hi Tim Nuttle: I’m so thrilled to see this renewed vigor in the traditional ecological knowledge section I was sort of a, I was on the board of the chair of the, sorry. The TEk section and was kind of a caretaker Tim Nuttle: Chair role and it was a very transitional period Tim Nuttle: And so I’m so thrilled to see, see you guys being so active these days. My comment. I guess I was spring boarding off of what Bob and James were just saying Tim Nuttle: About and what something that I’ve been struggling with as a Cherokee person enrolled member of Cherokee Tribe of Alabama and I’m a member of the Squirrel Rich Ceremonial Community and Cherokee Nation Tim Nuttle: Is of the, the stories that traditional knowledge is very meaningful and helpful for me personally and understanding the world around me and how I fit in it, but I’ve often struggled with how that helps other people you know that aren’t part of my culture and how to

Tim Nuttle: Share that in a way that would speak to people who aren’t indigenous and don’t have that personal connection right Tim Nuttle: But, but, as Bob was talking, I was thinking that will about the wholism. I thought, well, you know, there’s been this debate of holes and reductionism for decades and ecology. And so what’s different Tim Nuttle: And so maybe it’s what you said Bob was seeing connections that other people don’t see i think is maybe you didn’t say that exactly. But that’s what I kind of heard perked up about Tim Nuttle: A part of whole is in is of course being, you know, whole and and i think that what sparked in my head was Tim Nuttle: Those stories that I’ve learned from my culture helped me see connections that maybe others aren’t seeing and maybe that’s our stories are so we have our in our knowledge is held in those stories that James was talking about that are passed down and Tim Nuttle: There, there is knowledge in there that could that help us maybe see some things that others aren’t seeing Teresa Mourad: Oh, Tim you muted yourself for some Yeah, try, try again Tim Nuttle: And also myself muted Teresa Mourad: You’re just unmuted again. So that’s good Tim Nuttle: Okay, what Tim Nuttle: What I guess I don’t know how long I was muted. But what I’m trying to say is, although this my stories from my culture helped me Tim Nuttle: And maybe see some things that maybe other people aren’t seeing. I don’t know how relevant it is to those other people outside of my community and what you have any insights about how to take that and then help the rest of you know help Western science. The Western culture Tim Nuttle: See those things James Rattling Leaf: Yeah Bob Newman: I think that’s, I want to let James respond to that. But I’ll tell you from my perspective, this is one of those things. It’s like for a long time. I did not realize that other people can recognize voices on the phone Bob Newman: I couldn’t Bob Newman: I asked my dad one time. Finally, how he knew it was me and he said, because it sounds like you Bob Newman: And. And the thing is, you know, from my perspective, I just think the way I experienced the world and I see things is normal. And we probably all do that and I think what you were just saying is really true. I think that Bob Newman: Examples that I’ve seen where people. I mean, you might think something is really obvious Bob Newman: You grew up with it. You’ve heard the stories you see the connections and other people are blind to them because they don’t have your eyes and your experience and Bob Newman: Just sharing stories like that can be really helpful for the rest of us to just realize that there’s more to see the one example that I’ll mention because it’s probably one of the first ones that people encounter Bob Newman: If you have like my kind of background and that’s braiding sweetgrass Bob Newman: Were Robin Kimmerer is going through examples of things that she thought were obvious Bob Newman: About say the communities of flowers and what attracted pollinators and you know some of the other stories that she said she was talking about in there and you start to think, why isn’t this obvious to everybody else. I mean, she Bob Newman: I mean, that was kind of the way that the undertone of what she was saying in there. And if you don’t know that there’s a connection, you might not be looking for it. So I think that there’s probably a lot of really important interactions that are contained within that Bob Newman: You know, the cultural traditions that the rest of us aren’t even aware of and the more stories we hear the more we’re going to be able to kind of develop that sense for looking for James Rattling Leaf: Well, I would James Rattling Leaf: I would say that, you know, I think, you know, I think it’s really a issue or James Rattling Leaf: Problem based James Rattling Leaf: approach to how I think about that because James Rattling Leaf: He asked a question, if I understand correctly that, you know, how do we share these traditional knowledge with others that maybe don’t know it or don’t grew up with it I think that you know because of a world today James Rattling Leaf: The complexity of our world today, the built environment of our of our world today James Rattling Leaf: You know, we’re seeing the impacts of like fires. So I think about fires in California James Rattling Leaf: And then I hear for the first time on on on the media and newspapers or blogs and tweets about judicial knowledge about the tribes in California who really James Rattling Leaf: Have done a good job and how to manage fire and manage the lands in the forests and then they talk about traditional knowledge ecological knowledge that part of that story

James Rattling Leaf: And so I’m wondering what’s going to happen there. I’m wondering, you know, who’s, who’s gonna who’s going to bring people together James Rattling Leaf: In California, and when we know that the impact of the fires probably or has been the greatest has ever been James Rattling Leaf: And so I think that people sometimes will have to have to confront you know their own as Bob said whether they don’t understand or James Rattling Leaf: They don’t understand. Well, I think I talked about learning and I’ll talk about unlearning so I think I think it’s it’s all are in the way James Rattling Leaf: Responsibility to provide places for people to learn those things. And I think the fires and those sort of impacts where it gets everybody’s attention and then everybody doesn’t know what the answer is, or what do we do, what do we do set policies at science James Rattling Leaf: For the first time in my life I haven’t heard the word science be mentioned in mainstream news, my whole life. People say, the science. This to science that so the words getting out in a way, as I see it, people are talking about this. And I think that James Rattling Leaf: Big impacts like fire is changing the conversation again because people look like, Well, what do we do, and I think even though we have all this science and all this technology and all this data. Now we have to ask ourselves a question, again, you know, how come things aren’t getting better James Rattling Leaf: Outcome things aren’t getting are we are really doing what we need to do with what we know right now or are we waiting for some kind of a new model or a faster processor or a bigger cloud or Elon Musk to save us James Rattling Leaf: I don’t know James Rattling Leaf: Maybe we need an indigenous Elon Musk Teresa Mourad: Thank you. We have quite a number of hands up. So Mark, I want to see if you’re back with us Mark Junker: I apologize for that. Can you hear me now Teresa Mourad: Yes, go ahead Mark Junker: All right Mark Junker: My name is Mark Junker I’m the travel response Mark Junker: And Mark Junker: Been working a lot with some of the climate change and resilience issues and incorporating traditional ecological knowledge and it seems like we keep running across the same Mark Junker: Kind of problems and everyone wants to Mark Junker: Refer back to a Mark Junker: A system that sustains, and I think it kind of flies in the face of traditional ecological knowledge to keep using something at a rate that is not sustainable. And I was wondering if you take on how sustainability can fit in with traditional ecological knowledge James Rattling Leaf: Mark Junker Good to hear from you. Good to see you. Thank you for your question, hope things are well on your part of the country marks a friend of mine James Rattling Leaf: He also asked me hard questions, Mark. I don’t have an answer, but I’ll just, I’ll make one up, no I in all seriousness. I think that you ask the right questions. I think sustainability obviously is a is an important concept. I think you know we do share the idea that James Rattling Leaf: Really defining what that means for each individual tribes important I think sometimes we want to say, and I think I also want to say this again that each tribe is unique in itself so James Rattling Leaf: When we talk about traditional knowledge, you know, we have to be very careful and very specific what we’re talking about in particular you talking about James Rattling Leaf: Your people down there and Nebraska in Kansas or by talking about my people here and how we look at the issues that you just raised James Rattling Leaf: I think that the tribes in our part of the country now are investing in climate adaptation planning James Rattling Leaf: The Bureau of Indian Affairs has made an investment in tribes now to to fund. I think pretty decently for tribes to if they want to James Rattling Leaf: Is to work on climate adaptation. And to do that, planning and I think it’s it’s moving in the right direction James Rattling Leaf: Obviously, the next question would be is, you know, how do you fund implementation of those good ideas that’s still, I think in front of us. I think that James Rattling Leaf: I think that we got to find a different funding sources, different models. I know at the University of Colorado, we have a we have a finance James Rattling Leaf: Program within the law school and they’re looking at investments partnerships to fund for instance renewable project, you know, energy projects on travel plans James Rattling Leaf: So I think it’s going to take you know it’s going to take a whole lot of different things like that to James Rattling Leaf: Do invest in Indian country so that we can address your sustainability issues, whether its energy, whether its water, whether its food James Rattling Leaf: Food security and things like that. I think the other part of your question, it would be as food sovereignty James Rattling Leaf: I think it’s important that in terms of climate adaptation that we really have a good understanding about food sovereignty and how we can do that. I think James Rattling Leaf: COVID19 again has demonstrated our vulnerability to food or lack thereof. So it’s incumbent on us really as tribes to

James Rattling Leaf: Begin to look at food and how we grow our own how we think about organics how we transition land from maybe cattle grazing to something else. But again, those are big, big questions, but I think it all relates to your question about sustainability Teresa Mourad: Thank you, James. I’m seeing a number of comments on the chat about education and how to incorporate TEK into education Teresa Mourad: So before I turn to. I see some hands raised. But I, I want to, you know, acknowledge those questions and actually invite Bob will I’m sure has been doing quite a bit of that in his programs to address the question Bob Newman: Um, well, I think that Bob Newman: You know James is probably even a better person than me to address something like that. I think it’s an important question, though. And one of the things that Bob Newman: I think I’ve seen in some of the comments is we need to be respectful of, you know, the knowledge holders in this case and make sure that we, if we do bring Bob Newman: indigenous knowledge into the classroom, which I think you know it, our ecology education would benefit from that. But I don’t think we’ve really had the discussion on the best way to do that respectfully and appropriately Bob Newman: And we’re actually going to do a workshop on that at ESA 2021 that we’re still in the early planning stages on that. And some of you may, may be getting a call if you want to participate in that. But Bob Newman: I think that it would be useful for ESA, and for those of us who are involved in teaching ecology to kind of compare notes on best practices Bob Newman: For for doing that. But one thing that I’m always nervous about is thinking, I know the answer to, stuff like that Bob Newman: As somebody that isn’t native and it’s easy to go get a book, I saw somebody Bob Newman: Mentioning you know different book titles, just like I got my little library here so I can get in front of the camera. Here’s one Bob Newman: You know, here’s one Bob Newman: There’s a lot that’s been written about this. And I think that my first step would be to recommend seeing what other people have already written on this who Bob Newman: You know, have that background and have maybe even some experience with bringing me into the classroom, there’s probably not a single way of doing it Bob Newman: But I wouldn’t do this without consulting with people like James to make sure that Bob Newman: You know, we’re Bob Newman: Doing it in an appropriate way James Rattling Leaf: Well, you know, I want to pick up what I thought just came to my mind. I think that James Rattling Leaf: That that I want to share this. I’m doing more and more global work global and indigenous and so we’re James Rattling Leaf: We’re getting ready for a Geo Indigenous Summit here next month. And we got these topics right and education is one of them James Rattling Leaf: And I think that we have to look at it, maybe from UNDIRP let’s bring into the conversation. The United Nations Declaration indigenous rights of people James Rattling Leaf: Now indigenous people are working very hard over the many years to bring this to the world this way of how you work more effectively with indigenous people James Rattling Leaf: And so in that there’s something called free prior informed consent (FPIC), so I’ve been learning about this as I go and a lot to learn. Yet, for me, but I really think that when you talk about bringing truth and knowledge into the classroom. I think he got it. It’s got to start with the people James Rattling Leaf: I think in some ways universities need to establish these endowed chairs of indigenous James Rattling Leaf: Indigenous thought leaders just making that up. But they, but they can do that James Rattling Leaf: I mean I’m part of a D1 university and you know we can do that. I there’s, there’s a lot of. There’s a lot of money, resources there what’s holding it back? James Rattling Leaf: I think and and work with those knowledge holders as endowed chairs are in doubt, professors, with a unique knowledge, skill set, which is within any James Rattling Leaf: Set of wisdom and bring them into the classroom. I think students from all over the country would would would be drawn to that because James Rattling Leaf: They’re sort of getting it from the source. And I think when you do that together, then I think you’re going to learn James Rattling Leaf: You know how to put together a curriculum or a method that that meets the students needs. So I would recommend again really thinking about James Rattling Leaf: Looking at the infrastructure of our universities, for instance, to create these endowed professorships that respects the knowledge of the Elder or Elders, bring them into the classroom. I really think that James Rattling Leaf: I really think they would, they would do that. And I think some universities have done that

James Rattling Leaf: So that’d be my thoughts Teresa Mourad: It’s an intriguing idea. Thank you, James Teresa Mourad: So let’s turn to our folks who are like to speak, Lynn Fletcher Teresa Mourad: Let’s go ahead Lynn Fletcher: And thank you, actually my question was about bringing it into the classroom because I teach ecology and I’ve been reading some of the readings from Robin Wall Kimmerer to my courses and students really Lynn Fletcher: really resonate with her writing and I really see that there’s a need for a paradigm shift in the way we relate to our planet and the world around us and Lynn Fletcher: I definitely see that bringing more traditional ecological knowledge in the class could be so beneficial like just helping this paradigm shift Lynn Fletcher: And planting seeds for a paradigm shift in young people that are studying biology. So I appreciate the comments that both James and Bob mentioned, and I look forward to the next Lynn Fletcher: Meeting and hopefully, I’d love to attend that workshop. So this is a great meeting today. Thank you very much Teresa Mourad: Thank you, Lynn. Next we have Ann Mayo Sorry Ann Mayo: Yeah, it’s me, I think Ann Mayo: I’m really sorry I got here Ann Mayo: Late I’m in Texas, and I got the time confused. Um, but I’m really, really glad to be here. I particularly Ann Mayo: Have a question revolving another connection I have so I teach at a small college but I’m also part of the Entomological Society, and we have a working group right now talking about how to Ann Mayo: Bring policy for we’re dealing with invasive species. And in that conversation which we had yesterday Ann Mayo: It was brought forth. We need to include indigenous ideas about that. And so that’s my question. Um, Ann Mayo: How can I do that. Who can I connect with and what some of those concerns might be so. So we’re looking at, you know, things are brought being brought into the country. But then once we have them here Ann Mayo: You know there are causing a lot of devastation in many ways, so very much want to include have conversation with indigenous ideas about those concerns James Rattling Leaf: Is that, is that for Bob? James Rattling Leaf: Go ahead, Bob, and I’ll follow up Christine Whitehorse: Good afternoon Christine Whitehorse: If I may, Teresa Mourad: Can, can you just one moment I Teresa Mourad: Think Bob is trying to speak Teresa Mourad: If you would like to raise your hand. I, I don’t know who spoke actually Teresa Mourad: A Bob. Well, why don’t you go ahead Teresa Mourad: you’re muted, Bob Bob Newman: My computer told me that to Bob Newman: It smarter than me Bob Newman: I think that there’s a lot of Bob Newman: examples out there of bringing TEK into Bob Newman: Whatever kind of work is being done is certainly see it in the climate change face and you see it in Bob Newman: Wildlife Management, for example Bob Newman: I think I’ve seen examples in dealing with invasive species as well Bob Newman: So, Bob Newman: I would Bob Newman: See that, you know, see what other people are doing and Bob Newman: See how they’re Bob Newman: Interacting with with with the traditional knowledge holders. One thing that occurs to me is that fish and white US Fish and Wildlife Service and Bob Newman: Forest Service and National Park Service all have tribal liaison programs or people that interact with tribes and Bob Newman: They have documents online that I’ll try and dig up and put in in the chat as well. We had one of Kim Green was one of our speakers at the symposium this past year and they have Bob Newman: That handbooks on how to interact with tribes and how to interact with traditional knowledge holders in what they do with that information in that sort of thing. So I think there’s a lot of examples out there for how to go about doing that Teresa Mourad: Thank you, Bob James Rattling Leaf: Hi I’m Theresa. Can I respond to that Teresa Mourad: Question, of course James Rattling Leaf: I think, you know, one thing that could be helpful as a practical way is that if you noticed, or if you’re aware, there was there was a document called Guidelines for Incorporating Traditional Knowledge into Climate Change Work and that was done by a series of esteemed indigenous

James Rattling Leaf: Researchers and leaders. So that was for a sort of a specific area but I would encourage you to really think about doing the same thing James Rattling Leaf: Really think about, you know, bringing together those kind of entomologist, if he talked about Entomology and even where you’re at. I think she said, Texas. I think it James Rattling Leaf: Is do well if you would just sort of begin to think about, you know, as an Aboriginal territory as an Aboriginal homeland, who were there before the state of Texas James Rattling Leaf: It really be interesting if you would, first you find that out and then began to make into some forays into identifying those those groups that were there before, Texas James Rattling Leaf: I think, I think those kind of guidelines are real helpful because and then it gives people James Rattling Leaf: A place to start, and gives a positive direction in terms of what you do and maybe what you don’t do James Rattling Leaf: I think it forces you really to find out those sort of experts in that field from an indigenous background, who you can work with. And then you’re giving something James Rattling Leaf: You also have to remember one of my for Rs is reciprocity. If you want something to get something in return. And that’s to be that’s in some ways that’s a, an example of equity. Thank you Teresa Mourad: Thanks James I, I’ve been informed that it was Christine white horse. I wanted to speak, please do. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that you wanted to speak. Go ahead Christine Whitehorse: Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Christine Whitehorse I am a student at the University of Idaho. I’m new to the area Christine Whitehorse: Originally coming from the Navajo Nation Christine Whitehorse: So real briefly, and quickly. I’ll introduce myself in my own language. “Introduction” Christine Whitehorse: Christine Whitehorse: Translation of what I just said, Of course, my name, where I’m from my clan my paternal clan and I’m maternal clan and we are of the society of the maternal clan we promote that on. So this all Christine Whitehorse: Some ideas that you are all talking about already connects to my clanship that I just shared so Western education resorts to paternal clan at all times that they are the hierarchy Christine Whitehorse: Whereas in our society. We are our hierarchy is our maternal. So that’s the difference right off the back about my identity and the difference between what we are talking about today. And then also the comment that I wanted to input is about indigenous or the Christine Whitehorse: Invasive species that just recently pointed out, I just finished doing a research on invasive earthworms. And that’s an interesting topic. And I think one of the reasons why, after doing this research is that Christine Whitehorse: We were talking about watershed groundwater Christine Whitehorse: Surface water the pollutants of how Christine Whitehorse: How many factors of pollutants. There are two all of our water quality Christine Whitehorse: our drinking water, our surface water all that pertains back to human and Christine Whitehorse: And that’s one of the main stories in our perspective as indigenous people Christine Whitehorse: Do not take account and being that I’m in the field of environmental science and Christine Whitehorse: Chemical Engineering. I see that as a huge factor like just recently I watched a video Christine Whitehorse: On a gal from Sweden, she was at the time she was 11 years old I think today she’s 13 years old and her name is Granta we’re so far into education. We’re so far up on technology. We’re so educated that we are still Christine Whitehorse: Relying on our technology and I tell you what technology is failing us as of today because and that to the invasive earthworm, they are dominating us. We’re still we still see them as a problem as I sit here Christine Whitehorse: As a new student coming to this university here and. And the fact is another reason why I say that is this okay I’m doing quite a bit of assignments. I’m pretty much towards agriculture

Christine Whitehorse: And agriculture is that Christine Whitehorse: it all relates to economy sustainability Christine Whitehorse: Well sustainability is kind of like pretty much out the door because we ourselves as human being, our footprint is everywhere Christine Whitehorse: If we could keep a mode of a speed home like the way COVID is allowing us to we could replenish, a lot of our, our resources. So I see that as a big plus. Even though it’s a pandemic, it’s doing some good to our footprint that is just Christine Whitehorse: impacting our environment Christine Whitehorse: The other, the other part is about Christine Whitehorse: Were invasive species back to the earthworm, is that an example is that we human being. We go to the store and we pick up Christine Whitehorse: Fish bait, because we are into activities that just dominates us and we want to be entertained. We want to be entertained out on our recreational areas Christine Whitehorse: However, we don’t realize that we’re impacting our water bodies and we are doing that by bringing this invasive Christine Whitehorse: Earthworm using them as bait. I’m really no amount. So we could dominate fish because we’re so competitive because we’re so competitive Christine Whitehorse: Huge. We’re a very important word that we should realize that we as Western society western education. We are so competitive, therefore, that’s the result what we look at ourselves today in the environment about invasive about being non indigenous about, you know, Christine Whitehorse: That’s, that’s, that’s our huge deficit right there because we want to be. We want to be better than our neighbor. We want to have something better than someone else Christine Whitehorse: So I’ll conclude with that Teresa Mourad: Thank you so much, Christine Teresa Mourad: Yeah, it certainly sounds like we have a lot of work to do. I mean, I think, is once we start diving into what traditional ecological knowledge really means, you know, it seems like we really need to reevaluate Teresa Mourad: Practically everything that we do. Right. You know, in terms of how our how our mindset. Our research, the way we relate the way we collaborate. The way we bring in Teresa Mourad: Different voices to the table, and even the way we, you know, consider Teresa Mourad: Our lifestyle, I guess, you know, because at some point we’re really talking. That’s what we’re really talking about when we talk about sustainability Teresa Mourad: So I see that we have two minutes left. And I’m sorry we couldn’t get to everybody on the call who wanted to speak, but I’d really like to, you know, have Teresa Mourad: James and Bob have, you know, one last word for everybody and and I also want to say that we do have, we will be sharing the recording of this Teresa Mourad: Video of this session. And we will also be sharing all the resources that everybody’s posting. So I’m Bob and and, well, why don’t we start with you, Bob will have James have the last word Bob Newman: I’m certainly James should have the last word. And the most word Bob Newman: I think that there’s a lot of great comments that have been made in the chat and I hope everybody will read through them Bob Newman: You know, when it comes to reading material. There’s always you know a lot to, you know, work from but listening to the ideas that people have had is a really good starting point. I think one of the recurrent themes that’s in the chat and has been presented here is Bob Newman: Working Bob Newman: Talking to Bob Newman: Elders, or to tribal members or knowledge holders and establishing relationships which is long term work. It’s not something that you dropped in on a weekend and do and then go away and don’t come back Bob Newman: Finding ways to do that in a way that provides value to the people that you’re talking to, as well Bob Newman: And this whole notion of, you know, rethinking how we do things. I think that that’s a theme that’s out there Bob Newman: I mean what’s going on now in the world with climate change and everything like that should be a wake up call for all of us. But there’s certainly still a lot of extractive Bob Newman: Enterprise that is still causing problems. There’s no time to go into all that right now. But I think that we have an opportunity to step back, as we’ve had to do with co video and just rethink how we interact with the world and how we interact with each other

Bob Newman: So we will keep this conversation going in one form or another James Rattling Leaf: Well, thank you, Bob. And thank you, Teresa for iterating and everybody that’s on been on the call. What an awesome time to be with you and I know this is the beginning of something bigger James Rattling Leaf: You know, as section chair, you know, I’m certainly gonna encourage both formal and informal opportunities to bring additional voices to this great topic and thank you all for sharing and your time today. I know It’s very valuable James Rattling Leaf: You know, as a new section chair. I really want to think about us. Again, think about how we James Rattling Leaf: We look at it we try it out and do direction, you know, we set an agenda, what we can do as an organization, but more importantly also that we developed this James Rattling Leaf: This really effective engagement with indigenous people, I think from the students to the graduate students to the professionals early professionals. I think that’s a really a James Rattling Leaf: Responsibility that we have to do as an organization, and certainly in my time here as the chair. I’ll advocate for that James Rattling Leaf: I’ll make my voice. No one in these kind of circles and we think people like Teresa. You know who is James Rattling Leaf: Is pushing as well from her role as the ESA diversity person and we know the world has changed. It’s changed because of COVID and James Rattling Leaf: We want to come out of the stronger somehow. And we want to make sure that our indigenous people an our indigenous knowledge is sustained James Rattling Leaf: And we continue to provide greater opportunities for our people. So with that, Thank you all very much Teresa Mourad: You all again for being here and thank you, James and Bob, you have been tremendous. Really appreciate everybody being here and participating. Your presence Teresa Mourad: Again, look forward to the resources that will share and please echo Bob’s appeal join the ESA TEK section because that’s the community is really interested in Teresa Mourad: Understanding how all these come together, whether it’s an education or research and, whether it’s our meetings or, you know, just having some working groups. So please consider Teresa Mourad: Being part of the community and being an active participant. All right, thank you so much, everybody. And take care. Have a great weekend. Bye bye Tanika Connesero: Thank you have a great weekend