Protecting land and water is a central concern of Indigenous peoples in North America. Indigenous women are at the forefront of these efforts, and their knowledge and leadership reflect the principles of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) – respect, responsibility, reciprocity—that guide relationships between humans and the non-human world. Even during historical periods when colonial and state government policies sought to undermine tribal communities and detach them from their homelands, tribal communities have protected their place-based and community-centered values. Melissa (Harding) Ferretti, Chairwoman / President Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe, Inc and Dr. Amy E. Den Ouden, anthropologist and Associate Professor in the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston, will present a program based on the course they are co-teaching at UMass Boston. They will discuss Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribal history, and tribal initiatives in the present which focus on the preservation of traditional ecological knowledge for future generations.
In this presentation, Tribal Chairwoman Ferretti and Dr. Den Ouden will also discuss the community engagement focus of their course on Indigenous Women’s Leadership and Tribal Self-Determination, in which students are reading the work of Indigenous women scholars and activists in order to build an understanding of Indigenous environmental justice issues. They will discuss the importance of teachings of Elders, and tribal youth, about Indigenous place-based knowledge: a knowledge which reflects the spirit and power that is in the land and the water, offering us the guidance required to heal the earth and end the practices of environmental exploitation and destruction.
Presentation with question and answer time