This year on Earth Day, the Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences (IESS) program at Trent University is bringing together experts, researchers, and people from across the world interested in creating transformative change for a three-day conference aimed at bringing together Indigenous teachings and traditional knowledge to address complex global environmental issues.
The first conference of its kind in North America, Re-igniting the Sacred Power of Creation, will include keynote addresses by four powerful female leaders from Indigenous Nations around the world including: Dr. Vandana Shiva, a physicist and activist from India; Winona LaDuke, an Anishinaabeg activist focusing on sustainable development and food issues; Dr. Robin Kimmerer, plant ecologist and founding director of the Centre for Native Peoples and the Environment at State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and Dr. Manulani Aluli-Meyer, Hawaiian knowledge holder working in the field of Indigenous epistemology. Participants will also be involved in collaborative break-out sessions, and action-plan building.
“This conference aims to move beyond discussion and create time and space for conference participants to come together and commit to taking action to heal themselves, their communities and the natural world,” explains Professor Dan Longboat, director of the IESS program at Trent University. “We will be learning from elders and knowledge holders, community practitioners, Indigenous and non-indigenous people about their experiences and projects to catalyze discussions and plans for moving forward on addressing the complex environmental issues of our time.”
Barbara Wall, chair of the conference planning committee and a teacher in the IESS program adds, “The conference title, Re-igniting the Sacred Power of Creation, refers to the revitalization, resurgence and re-claiming of the teachings and knowledges that emanate from intimate relationship between Indigenous peoples and the land, water, and all the beings. We believe there is a sacred life energy or power inherent in all of the natural world. This power inspires us to take action and fulfill our responsibilities as caretakers of the land and water.”
There are many ways for people to get involved in the conference, including:
- Attend the conference as a participant
- Submit an abstract to present a project or research
- Volunteer at the conference and receive a conference pass
- Sponsor the conference, and donate funds, door prizes, and scholarships
Registration for the conference is now open and a FundRazr campaign has been created to help support the costs associated with hosting a conference of this size and nature. For more information about the conference, or to get involved, visit: iessconference.org