Fighting Climate Change Focus of Native American and Indigenous Studies Symposium

“Living Waters, Animate Lands: Traditional Ecological Knowledge,” a three-day symposium by the Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Program, will work to build bridges connecting cultural heritage, ecology, economics and ethics by exploring indigenous ecological knowledge and how to adapt to environmental change.

The symposium, which runs from Thursday, April 6-Saturday, April 8 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Amherst College, is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary.

Symposium speakers include tribal government officials, educators and authors.

Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota have recently drawn attention to the importance of water rights on tribal land and the ways in which Indigenous treaty rights and climate change are intertwined. This symposium acknowledges that Indigenous peoples have long been fighting against the causes of climate change, and will show how traditional ecological knowledge of Indigenous peoples can combine with scientific innovation to combat the causes of global warming and promote sustainable living.

NAIS Symposium Schedule

  • Thursday, April 6, 6:30 p.m.: Reception and film "The Spirit of Standing Rock," Cape Cod Lounge, UMass Amherst
  • Friday, April 7, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.: Symposium, Cole Assembly Hall (morning) and the Center for Humanistic Engagement (afternoon), Amherst College
  • Friday, April 7, 6:30 p.m.: Reception and reading, Cole Assembly Hall, Amherst College
  • Saturday, April 8, 10 a.m.: Plant Walk for Symposium Participants, Amherst College
  • Details of the symposium, including a full list of speakers, can be found at

For more information, contact Kevin Kennedy,, 413/542-4017