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Great Lakes Traditional Ecological Knowledge Speaker Series Seeks to Connect Communities and Emphasize the Value of Indigenous Knowledge

Great Lakes Traditional Ecological Knowledge speaker series

On May 26 – June 30, 2021, the Science Annex of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is co-hosting a weekly Great Lakes Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) speaker series with the University of Minnesota -Twin Cities Department of American Indian Studies.

Register for the series (Zoom)

This series brings together Tribal, First Nation, Métis, State, Provincial, Federal, academic, non-governmental and other participants in the U.S. and Canada, within and beyond the Great Lakes, who share an interest in the role of Indigenous knowledge and how to appropriately bridge knowledge systems to guide protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and connected ecosystems and lifeways.

The series is co-organized by GLWQA TEK Task Team Co-Leads Jessica Koski (U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs Midwest Region) and Andrew Preston (Environment and Climate Change Canada), and GLWQA TEK Task Team Member Jessica Dolan, Ethnobotanist on contract with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Environment Division, Adjunct Professor at the University of Guelph Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and member of the Conservation Through Reconciliation Partnership based at the University of Guelph. The GLWQA TEK Task Team is supported in part by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

Each session will include 2-5 speakers followed by Q&A moderated by Dr. Michael Dockry, Assistant Professor at the UMN-Twin Cities Departments of Forest Resources and American Indian Studies. Dr. Dockry will play a valuable role as moderator, helping to guide cross-cultural dialogue related to TEK, with expertise in American Indian and Indigenous Natural Resource Management, Tribal Partnerships, Integration of TEK and Western Ecological Knowledge, Strategic Foresight and Planning, Institutional Diversity, and Environmental History.

The series will take place virtually in six weekly sessions on Wednesdays at 12:30 – 2:00 pm CST / 1:30 – 3:00 pm EST:

  • May 26: TEK Guidance Initiatives in the U.S. and Canada
  • June 2: Braiding Ways of Knowing: TEK Theory, Methods & Ethics
  • June 9: TEK in Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) Priority Setting Processes
  • June 16: TEK Guided Research to Address Community-Based Chemical Concerns
  • June 23: Restoring Culture & Seed Knowledge through Native Plant Restoration
  • June 30: Bridging Knowledge Systems for Monitoring & Climate Adaptation

  • May 26: TEK Guidance Initiatives in the U.S. and Canada
    This first session will begin with an opening address by Sateiokwen Bucktooth, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe TEK Consultant and Entrepreneur of Snipe Clan Botanicals, who will also provide the closing address for the series on June 30. The session will also feature Jen Vanator, Policy Analyst/Great Lakes Program Coordinator for the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, who will speak on a recently published “Guidance Document on Traditional Ecological Knowledge Pursuant to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement,” and Neil Jones, Indigenous Policy Advisor for Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) who will speak on an ECCC initiative to enhance approaches to Indigenous knowledge. 
  • June 2: Braiding Ways of Knowing: TEK Theory, Methods & Ethics
    A panel of Indigenous scholars will include Deborah McGregor, Kelsey Leonard, and Neil Patterson, Jr. Dr. Deborah McGregor is Anishinaabe from the Whitefish River First Nation and serves as an Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice at York University. Her research has focused on Indigenous knowledge systems and their various applications in diverse contexts including water and environmental governance, environmental justice, forest policy and management, and sustainable development. Dr. Kelsey Leonard is an enrolled citizen of the Shinnecock Nation and serves as Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on Indigenous water justice and its climatic, territorial, and governance underpinnings. Dr. Neil Patterson, Jr. is an enrolled member of the Tuscarora Indian Nation and serves as Assistant Director at the Center for Native Peoples & the Environment at State University of New York College of Environmental Science & Forestry. For many years, he has worked to restore and build relationships between Indigenous communities and their aboriginal territory.
  • June 9: TEK in Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) Priority Setting Processes
    This session will highlight the role of Indigenous knowledge at Akwesasne related to the St. Lawrence River AOC. Speakers will include Abraham Francis, Environmental Science Officer for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Environment Program; Aimee Benedict, Environmental Planner for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe; and 1-3 additional speakers/panelists.
  • June 16: TEK Guided Research to Address Community-Based Chemical Concerns
    Speakers will include Valoree Gagnon, Director of University-Indigenous Partnerships at Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) Great Lakes Research Center and Research Assistant Professor for Michigan Tech’s College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science; Evelyn Ravindran, Director of Natural Resources for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community; and 1-2 additional speakers/panelists. 
  • June 23: Restoring Culture & Seed Knowledge through Native Plant Restoration
    Will include Sharilyn Johnston, Environment Coordinator for Aamjiwnaang First Nation and 1-2 additional invited speakers/panelists.
  • June 30: Bridging Knowledge Systems for Monitoring & Climate Adaptation
    Speakers will include Emily Mansur and Elisha Jones with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation Coastal Waters Monitoring Program; and Sara Smith, Midwest Tribal Resilience Liaison with the College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute in association with the Northeast and Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Centers, and Robert Croll, Policy Analyst/Climate Change Program Coordinator with the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, on the Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu. 

Registration Link (Zoom)

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