Adult Programs

Traditional Ecological Knowledge Series: Diversifying Conservation with Indigenous Perspectives (online)

See nature through the lens of traditional ecological knowledge in this live, online series. Explore how language can shape our understanding of land and relationship to it.

Content Detail

See nature through the lens of traditional ecological knowledge in this live, online series. Explore how language can shape our understanding of land and relationship to it. Consider environmental stewardship from Indigenous perspectives, and learn to apply the principles of Indigenous science to conservation and land management efforts. Over the course of three sessions, participants will 

  • learn the principles of Indigenous science; 
  • examine language and cultural bias in science; 
  • explore Indigenous perspectives on conservation and land management.

This series will build your framework for understanding the relationship between humans and nature, long understood by Indigenous peoples, and provide ways to apply this understanding to the way you work, recreate, and relate to the natural world. 


Session 1: The Basics of Indigenous and Western Science 

Session 2: The Language of Science

Session 3: Rethinking Our Relationship with Land Management

How do I access the program?

  • Your link to join the program will be included in the Order Summary email you receive after registering. Keep this email handy.
  • Click on the link at the scheduled date and time. 
  • Automatically generated captions will be displayed.
  • This program will take place on Zoom. You will need access to the internet to participate. 
  • Registrants will receive a Zoom link by email. Click on the link to join the program at the scheduled date and time. 
  • To ensure you receive the link, please add to your address book. 
  • New to Zoom? Watch this short video to learn how to join a Zoom meeting.
  • Limit 250

About the Speakers:

Kaya DeerInWater

Kaya DeerInWater is from the Citizen Band of Potawatomi and lives in Shawnee, Oklahoma, with his wife and three children. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in biocultural restoration at SUNY–ESF in Syracuse, New York. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California–Davis in ecological restoration and management. He also works as the community garden manager for his nation where he focuses on growing both traditional and not traditional crops and leads workshops around building relationships with plants and the land through Indigenous foods, crafts, and medicines. His research interests center around how traditional knowledge contributes to resilience in a changing world. He hopes it can inform adaptive revitalization efforts to heal people and their connection to the land simultaneously.

Franklin Barker

Franklin Barker, BA, Western Michigan University; MA, Michigan State University, is the language coordinator for the Gun Lake Tribe, a retired public school teacher, and amateur linguist. He has been a life-long student of how a culture’s language reflects its values, beliefs, and psychology.


Gabrielle Van Steenberg

Gabrielle Van Steenberg is a citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi and is Turtle Clan. She holds undergraduate degrees in Geography and Indigenous Nations Studies from Portland State University, with a particular interest in the intersection of climate change, ethnobotany, and indigenous sovereignty. She is a founding member on the board of Jibek Mbwakawen, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering our communities in addressing climate change through the education of indigenous lifeways. She is also very honored to have helped complete several outdoor gardening/landscaping projects with PSU, local tribes, and the city of Portland and is committed to making and maintaining urban spaces as places where indigenous people thrive. She realizes the importance of understanding how systems of environmental and social injustice are entwined, and to that aim, she is constantly striving to be a better steward of the land and people.

About the facilitator:

Billie Warren

Billie Warren is a citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi and is Bear Clan. Warren has been an educator, environmentalist, humanitarian, and beadwork artist for more than twenty years. Recognizing the urgency of climate change, she founded  the nonprofit organization Jibek Mbwakawen Inc., which aims to improve the environment by connecting people to the land from an Indigenous perspective. She holds a BA degree from Indiana University Northwest and is currently pursuing a graduate degree.


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