January 20, 2022 | 6:00-8:30 p.m. Pacific | Virtual Event
Online, statewide & beyond
During times of great change and uncertainty, reflecting on how people have adapted to and thrived in the past can help us look to the future. Indigenous people have lived in the Pacific Northwest since time immemorial. Evidence of their enduring presence, survival skills, and spirituality is written into rocks, buried in sediments, frozen in ice, planted along trails, and passed down through stories, cultural practices, and languages.
Lives of great meaning and abundance occurred all over this planet before anyone could turn on a lightbulb, make a phone call, or send an email. Societies recognized the sacred in the ecology of place and endured great changes in climate, flora, and fauna.
Faced with the profound impacts and uncertainties of climate change, we need connection and hope more than ever. Taking time to ponder where our food truly comes from is a powerful way to reconnect us to nature and to restore the relationships, wisdom, and skills that are central to our survival.
Through elder-led conversations, this workshop will encourage participants to:
Learn from traditional gatherers about Columbia Plateau culture, systems of knowledge, and practices through which the Nimiipuu Gatherers have continued their relationship with land
Learn about the Camas to Condor project, a landscape-level climate resilience initiative led by the Nez Perce Tribe, in collaboration with nonprofit and university partners across the West
Explore the connections between ourselves, our foods, and other species, and gain greater understanding of traditional land stewardship, including wild foraging for local foods
Consider our responsibility to reciprocate the gifts that nature has given us by tending the wild and restoring ecological literacy, relationships, and processes
As a part of the workshop, we ask for each participant to do a land acknowledgment, by finding what Indigenous land they are on. We will also ask participants to identify a place with which they are connected and to spend some time reflecting on this landscape prior to our workshop discussion.
About the presenters:
Cecilia (Lee) Bourgeau is a Respected Nimiipuu Atwai (Nez Perce Elder Woman), and an educator, in all aspects of her life. She has taught her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, along with her community, the importance of Nimiipuu traditional ways of knowing. She is known for her traditional food gathering and cooking for ceremonies. With her natural ability to teach, she continues to teach about traditional food gathering to organizations that support the relationship of Indigenous people and land. With her rich knowledge of a lifetime of gathering, she gives an important perspective of how Climate Change has impacted the Nimiipu Season Round Trail.
Stefanie Krantz is the Climate Change Coordinator for the Nez Perce Tribe. With the Tribe’s Climate Change Task Force, and her staff, she is working on a vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan for the Tribe. Stefanie is also working to develop tools that will help planners and biologists at the Tribe apply climate science to daily planning decisions, including a Climate and Culturally Smart Restoration Toolkit, and a Climate Smart agriculture modeling project.
Stefanie developed a love of nature growing up in the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico. That love grew into a career as an ecologist and planner doing everything from studying butterfly diversity in coffee farms in Mexico to conducting endangered species surveys in California. She received a master’s degree in ecology from the University of Michigan in 2005 and has been working in the conservation field for eighteen years. She is an avid bird watcher who has traveled around the world to learn first-hand about birds, wildlife, ecosystems, and people. When she is not working, she enjoys fixing up her old house and spending time outdoors with her family.
Andrea (AJ) Whiteplume is a Climate Change Specialist and a recent graduate of Northwest Indian College with her Bachelors of Native Environmental Science degree. She is working with the Nez Perce Tribes Climate Change Team on the Lapwai Food Trail Project, the Seasonal Round Trail Project, and the Camas to Condors Project. Her traditional knowledge and scientific expertise has contributed greatly to assessing the functional and cultural value of wetlands on the reservation and adding cultural values to the Climate Smart Toolkit.