Date: March 13, 2023
Colonization is an issue of climate justice. Contrary to popular belief, Indigenous Peoples leveraged immense influence on their surrounding lands, fires, and waters in ways that could heal our planet today. Whether it’s periodically burning grassland ecosystems with low severity fires to maintain habitat for deer, buffalo, antelope, etc, or building intertidal rock walls that catch sediment and warmer waters to expand clam habitat, native people have a number of innovative strategies for scaling habitat for edible plants and animals whom they often view as relatives.
In this conversation, Dr. Lyla June Johnston translated this under-studied history to the contemporary world and highlights the connection between Indigenous land ethics, carbon sequestration, biodiversity augmentation, anthropogenic habitat expansion, and regional ecosystem connectivity. The success of these systems is believed to be due to their underlying value system of respect, reverence, responsibility and reciprocity.
Event sponsored by: Institute for Social Transformation, American Indian Resource Center, and People of Color Sustainability Collective at UC Santa Cruz. This annual event is made possible with generous support from the Kamieniecki Lecture Fund Endowment.
Land acknowledgement: The land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, comprised of the descendants of indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, is today working hard to restore traditional stewardship practices on these lands and heal from historical trauma.