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Sustainability Events

Indigenous Sustainability Solutions: The Resurgence of Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Melissa Nelson

  • Professor of American Indian Studies, San Francisco State University
  • President, The Cultural Conservancy

In this lecture presentation, Melissa Nelson will outline the resurgence of TEK theoretically, methodologically, and pedagogically. She will illustrate the many ways Native sciences and TEK are being elevated in different sectors, including higher education, tribal affairs, environmental management, and the global Indigenous rights movement.

Melissa K. Nelson, PhD (Anishinaabe/Métis [Turtle Mountain Chippewa]) is an ecologist, writer, media-maker, and indigenous scholar-activist. She is a professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University and president of The Cultural Conservancy, an indigenous rights organization she has directed since 1993. Her work is dedicated to indigenous rights and revitalization, biocultural heritage protection and environmental justice, intercultural solidarity, and the renewal and celebration of community health and cultural arts. She is the editor of and a contributor to Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future (2008), and co-editor and contributor to Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Learning from Indigenous Practices for Environmental Sustainability (2018). She has produced several documentary short films, including the award-winning, The Salt Song Trail.

She recently created the Native Seed Pod, a podcast about food sovereignty. Melissa is the co-founder of the Indigenous Forum at Bioneers and a long-time proponent of the Indigenous Food Sovereignty movement, locally, nationally, and internationally. Melissa is a co-founder of the Slow Food Turtle Island Association, an alliance of Native American farmers, fisherfolk, gatherers, chefs, advocates, and health educators. In 2006 – 2007 Melissa was a Visiting Scholar at the American Indian Studies Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2010 – 2011 she served as the Anne Ray Resident Scholar at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Melissa is a Switzer Environmental Fellow and has received awards for teaching, experiential education, documentary filmmaking, environmental stewardship, and social justice. She currently serves on the board of directors of Occidental Arts and Ecology Center and the Sogorea Te Land Trust.

Monday, September 16, 2019
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.