Fighting climate change is focus of NAIS Symposium

Living Waters, Animate Lands: Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Thursday, April 6–Saturday, April 8, 2017

UMass and Amherst College

Free and open to the public; no registration necessary

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A three-day symposium by the Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Program will work to build bridges connecting cultural heritage, ecology, economics and ethics by exploring Indigenous ecological knowledge and how to adapt to environmental change.

Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota have recently drawn attention to the importance of water rights on tribal land and the ways in which Indigenous treaty rights and climate change are intertwined. This symposium acknowledges that Indigenous peoples have long been fighting against the causes of climate change, and will show how traditional ecological knowledge of Indigenous peoples can combine with scientific innovation to combat the causes of global warming and promote sustainable living.

Symposium speakers include tribal government officials, educators and authors. Details of the symposium, including a full list of speakers, can be found at

NAIS Symposium Schedule

Thursday, 6:30 p.m.: Reception and film The Spirit of Standing Rock

Cape Cod Lounge, UMass Amherst

Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.: Symposium

Cole Assembly Hall (morning) & the Center for Humanistic Engagement (afternoon), Amherst College

Friday, 6:30 p.m.: Reception and reading

Cole Assembly Hall, Amherst College

Saturday, 10 a.m.: Plant Walk for Symposium Participants

Amherst College

Symposium sponsors are: Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Program, College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute, UMass School of Earth and Sustainability, Amherst College Dean of Faculty, UMass Native American and Indigenous Studies Certificate Program, UMass Department of Anthropology, Hampshire College School of Critical Social Inquiry, Mount Holyoke College History Department, Amherst College Departments of English, Environmental Studies and American Studies, Lamont Fund, Gedakina.