Indigenous Knowledge at 2015 Bioneers Conference: Bay Area Focus

Bioneers Indigenous Forum photos by Zoe Urness

Indigenous programming at the annual Bioneers conference today comprise four days of dynamic programming, and where one main focus is to weave Bay Area Native presence throughout.

With ongoing community support for the John Mohawk Scholarship Fund, this year we plan to host 30-40 local Bay Area Native leaders and allies and 50 SFUSD Title VII Native youth scholarship recipients.

And all conference attendees are invited to experience the many ways this upcoming year’s programming highlights Bay Area Natives.

Pre-Conference Traditional Ecological Knowledge Intensive

Acorns, Elderberries and Pine Nuts: How to Keep Our Cultural Landscapes Healthy

Western Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge need each other to solve today’s crises. This hands-on immersion in the knowledge, sciences, and practices of California Native peoples working to protect and restore their eco-cultural heritage will focus especially on traditional food gathering and processing, and sophisticated, time-tested land management practices.

The workshop will be full of fun, food and culture-bearers. We are particularly interested in engaging both Native and non-Native conservationists, scientists, NGOs, and governmental organizations seeking to connect with TEK holders and Indigenous stewardship ethics to help refine their own understanding of ecosystems and their land management systems. Co-hosted by Cara Romero (Chemehuevi), Director of Bioneers’ Indigenous Knowledge Program; and Tiffany Adams (Miwok/Maidu/ Chemehuevi).

Ceremony, Art & Performances

  • Main Stage Opening Ceremony by Dean Hoaglin (Coast Miwok /Pomo/Wailaki/Yuki), Suscol Intertribal Council
  • Sun Stage: Northern California Native Dance Group hosted by Dean Hoaglin (Coast Miwok /Pomo/Wailaki/Yuki), Suscol Intertribal Council
  • Sun Stage: Audiopharmacy featuring Ras K’Dee (Dry Creek Pomo) and Dancing Earth Dance Company featuring Rulan Tangen (Metis)
  • For the first time ever, Bioneers Indigenous Knowledge Program will be partnering with IFAM (Indigenous Fine Art Market), to bring 14 traditional and contemporary mostly Bay Area Native artists as vendors to the Bioneers Conference.

Indigenous Forum Tent

Native Land Trusts: Returning to a Land They Never Left

Across California, First Peoples are reclaiming their roles as expert stewards of land, water and resources through cooperative Native land trust partnerships. These mechanisms can help re-integrate traditional life-ways and empower marginalized Native Californians.

Working with foundations, state parks and conservationists seeking connection with Traditional Knowledge holders and land-based stewardship ethics, they’re blending traditional and modern ecological and botanical sciences for optimal management strategies.

With: Beth Rose Middleton (Afro-Caribbean/Eastern European), Associate Professor of Native American Studies at UC Davis; Valentin Lopez (Amah Mutsun Tribal Band), Director of the Mutsun Land Trust; Ken Holbrook (Maidu), Maidu Summit Consortium Chairman; Matthew Leivas, Sr. (Chemehuevi), Native American Land Conservancy board member.

Idle No More—Bay Area to Tar Sands: A History of the Movement 
The fastest growing Indigenous resistance ever to industrial exploitation, Canada’s Idle No More movement has gone global. These leading indigenous campaigners share its successful strategies and show how you can participate.

With: Clayton Thomas-Müller (Mathais Colomb Cree), Idle No More, Indigenous rights activist; Eriel Deranger, Communications Manager of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation; Pennie Opal Plant (Yaqui, Mexican, English, Choctaw, Cherokee), Bay Area IdleNoMore.

Urban Native Food Justice and Revitalization  
Urban Native youth working with The Cultural Conservancy’s (TCC) Native Foodways Program share their experiences in food justice, organic farming, and the revitalization of native foodways.

With: Kaylena Bray (Seneca), Coordinator of TCC’s Foodway Program; Native interns Trevor Ware (Caddo-Kiowa-Lenape) and Quinton Cabellon (Yokut). Includes screening of a new, short documentary film about Bay Area urban Native youth reclaiming their Indigenous foods, identities, and health.

Explore all Indigenous Knowledge programming at Bioneers 2015 »

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