|dc.description||I attended the Society of Ethnobiology 31 Annual Conference in Fayetteville Arkansas April 16-20, where I presented a paper in the symposium on Native North American Ethnobiology on the afternoon of April 17. The session was quite diverse, and had three Native American presenters among the participants, including a former MA student of mine from the MAIS program, Zoe Dalton, now at the University of Toronto doing her PhD in Geography.
The paper was well received, and I received positive comments from several of the Cherokee attendees as well as from colleagues, who also offered helpful suggestions for working further with the ideas presented, including suggestions to present the analysis in terms of cultural keystone species, and also of source material from NOAA on environmental change and Inuit traditional knowledge.
Other highlights of the conference were:
The Native Scholars’ Symposium: Indigenous Ethnobiology, a panel discussion featuring a series of Cherokee artists, and academics with whom they had collaborated in various ways. This discussion explored some of the positive, and potentially problematic aspects of collaboration between indigenous peoples and (non-indigenous) academics.
The Cherokee art show and address by Dr. Nancy Maryboy, Navajo/Cherokee astronomer, on indigenous and western sciences and indigenous education at the Conference Banquet.
The field trip to the Arkansas wine growing district, where we learned about how German viticulture traditions were brought to Arkansas in the 1870’s, and how grape growing and wine making incorporated hybridization of Viutis vinifera with two native North American grape species. We toured the vineyard, and the working part of the winery, and learned something of the grape growing industry and its health food aspects.
I also had an opportunity to meet with four of the contributors to my co-edited volume Landscape Ethnoecology, which is being revised after review for submission to Berghahn in May.
Attending these meetings also facilitates networking with colleagues from all over the world and keeping abreast of current developments in Ethnobiology. Attendees included colleagues from Australia, Nepal and Kenya, as well as Americans, Canadians, and colleagues who had travelled from Latin America.||en
|dc.description.abstract||Northern Athapaskan speakers experience shifting ecological conditions over the seasons, and over longer periods of time. People travel, animals travel, caribou migration routes shift. Traditional knowledge of Dene is flexible, relational and responsive, emphasizing observation, adaptation and resilience. With climate change, ranges of plant species, migrations of animal species, and weather patterns shift. Political and economic factors impinging on people and land are also changing. The nature, transmission and relevance of traditional knowledge of land is impacted by all of these factors. I describe aspects of Dene knowledge of landscape and reflect on the adaptive responsiveness of traditional understandings.||en