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water drop iconThe Diversity Drop
Educational resources from the NREM Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee

Integrating Indigenous Knowledge

In a 2016 interview, Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass and Distinguished Teaching Professor and Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at SUNY ESF, was asked whether she had advice for those concerned about “appropriating Native American perspectives and practices”.She replied,

"Be careful. Go cautiously. It’s tough to say at what point appreciation becomes appropriation. Loving and respecting the earth, living by the rules of gratitude and reciprocity — those principles cross cultural boundaries and seem to be the property of our species… We should be inspired and broadened by other cultures, but we each need to build a unique relationship with our own place."
 

Many resources exist for those interested in building partnerships with Native American tribes and integrating traditional and indigenous knowledge into natural resource science, stewardship, and education.  Two that may be of interest include: 
  1. The Global Council for Science and the Environment and the Land Peace Foundation is currently hosting an online learning series entitled "Indigenous Knowledge & Western Science: Collaboration, Relationship, and Climate Solutions" with webinars scheduled April 7-June 16th.  Attendance is free, but registration is required. 
  2. The USDA Agricultural Research Service has assembled a Tribal Relations Tool story map that aims to provide an understanding for Agricultural Research Stations (ARS) employees and the broader USDA community about the function of Tribal colleges and universities as land grant institutions, the Tribes that chartered the schools, and the nation-to-nation relationship with the USA.
     
The Diversity Drop is a weekly newsletter developed and distributed by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University. The goal of the newsletter is to advance the knowledge and understanding that will enable us to build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive department, institution, and profession.

Learn more at https://www.nrem.iastate.edu/diversity-equity-and-inclusion-committee

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