Indigenous Pathways to a Regenerative Future

Indigenous Peoples already do “green jobs”—they integrate cultural values into business activities and protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity. In order to transform our economies through Indigenous-led solutions, we need to uplift movements and stories inspired by Indigenous resistance. To do this, we must change the culture of philanthropy and impact investing, which still largely circulates in privileged circles. In this panel, we explore how to transition from colonial-capitalism using Indigenous-led strategies that offer us pathways towards an equitable and regenerative future.

With: Sikowis (Plains Cree/Saulteaux), founder, Great Plains Action Society, speaker/writer/artist; Nick Estes, Ph.D. (Lower Brule Sioux Tribe), historian, author, Professor at the University of New Mexico, co-founder, The Red Nation. Hosted by Alexis Bunten (Unangan/ Yup’ik), Co-Director of the Bioneers Indigeneity Program.

This discussion took place at the 2021 Bioneers Conference.



Sikowis (aka Christine Nobiss) (Plains Cree/Saulteaux, George Gordon First Nation) grew up in Winnipeg but has been living in Iowa City for 15 years. She is the founder of the Great Plains Action Society, “a collective of Indigenous organizers of the Great Plains working to resist and Indigenize colonial institutions, ideologies, and behaviors.” She speaks, writes and organizes extensively on Indigenous rights, the climate crisis, environmental collapse and colonial capitalism.

Nick Estes

Nick Estes, Ph.D. (Kul Wicasa/Lower Brule Sioux), is Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico and a member of the Oak Lake Writers Society, a group of Dakota, Nakota and Lakota writers. In 2014, he was a co-founder of The Red Nation in Albuquerque, NM, an organization dedicated to the liberation of Native people from capitalism and colonialism. He serves on its editorial collective and writes its bi-weekly newsletter. Nick Estes is also the author of: Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance.

Alexis Bunten

Alexis Bunten, Ph.D., (Unangan/Yup’ik), Co-Director of the Bioneers’ Indigeneity Program, has been a researcher, media-maker, manager, consultant, and curriculum developer for organizations including the Sealaska Heritage Institute, Alaska Native Heritage Center, and the FrameWorks Institute. She has published widely about Indigenous and environmental issues, and is the author of So, how long have you been Native?: Life as an Alaska Native Tour Guide.

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