Founded in 2008, the Native-led Indigenous Forum at Bioneers is designed as a sovereign space for Indigenous People to bring their vision and message to Native and non-Native allies and to connect. Each year the Indigenous Forum works to amplify Indigenous voices, build networks and movements and enhance cross-cultural dialogue, learning, cultural sensitivity and informed action. The event is a core part of the Bioneers Conference, bringing together Indigenous activists, scientists, elders, youth, culture-bearers and scholars to share their knowledge and frontline solutions in dialogue with a dynamic, multicultural audience.
We invite you to join us in Berkeley for an incredible lineup of leaders making up the 2023 Indigenous Forum at Bioneers.
After narrowly defeating the rightwing extremist Jair Bolsonaro last year, Lula da Silva began his third presidential term by reaffirming Brazilian democracy, the rule of law, and reinstating critical socio-environmental protections to reverse the Amazonian catastrophe unleashed by his predecessor. Despite these very positive steps, Lula’s administration faces a myriad of challenges as entrenched interests work to undermine its agenda. What does this scenario portend for the future of the world’s largest rainforest? Moderated by Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director, Amazon Watch. With: Christian Poirier, Program Director, Amazon Watch; and a special guest from Brazil TBA.
#LandBack has become a rallying cry in Indigenous circles and beyond from coast to coast, but what does #Landback really mean, and how can we be a part of this movement? In this panel, leaders in the #Landback movement will share different approaches to the return and “rematriation” of ancestral territories. For tribal members, the discussion will include organizational, fundraising, and legal strategies. For non-Natives, panelists will share how to be a good ally for #Landback. Moderated by Cara Romero. With: PennElys Droz; Corrina Gould; Tom Nason.
Indigenous peoples across the Pacific have a deep knowledge of the ocean and its ecosystems acquired from hundreds of generations of observation. Today, commercial farming, overfishing, resource extraction and global warming are destroying the ocean systems and exacerbate the climate crisis. In this panel, three leaders with intimate knowledge of the relationships between land and ocean will discuss how to restore balance to the Pacific and to the planet. Moderated by Alexis Bunten. With: Loa Niumeitolu; Kiana Frank; other TBA.
Friday, April 7
Book Signing | 1:30 pm
Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story Book Signing
About this book signing
Co-authors, Danielle Greendeer and Alexis Bunten, will be signing copies of their award-winning children’s book Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story. Keepunumuk creates a new Thanksgiving story that puts Native peoples—and nature—at its heart. Two children from the Wampanoag tribe learn how Weeâchumun (corn) persuaded the First Peoples to help the newcomers (the Pilgrims) survive in their new home.
Yurok and Karuk peoples have been fighting for decades to remove dams on the Klamath River that destroyed riparian ecosystems and decimated salmon populations that underscore traditional lifeways. In 2022, the US government finally agreed to remove four dams and engage in the largest river restoration project in US history. Join us to learn the story of this incredible achievement in tribal activism, groundbreaking tribal partnerships with state and federal governments, and culture-based methods for river restoration. Moderated by Cara Romero. With: Frankie Myers, Molli Myers and Craig Tucker.
What does it mean to be Native? Is it enrollment in a federally recognized tribe? Is it descendancy proven by genealogical records? A family story? DNA? What does the saying, “everybody is Indigenous” mean? And how do you talk about Native identity depending on which category fits you? Join the Indigeneity Program team and special guests as we unpack tribal identity in a frank conversation. Moderated by: Cara Romero, Alexis Bunten and Nazshonnii Brown-Almaweri. With: Jade Begay; Andrew MacDonald; Bette Billiot; Te Maia Wiki; others TBA.
“In community we pause, we open, we nourish, and we become.”
Yuria Celidwen is of Nahua and Maya descent from the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, born into a family lineage of mystics, healers, and poets. Her scholarship centers on Indigenous forms of contemplation and has developed into a broader statement she calls the “ethics of belonging.” It has become evident that when we pay attention to the world around us, all we hear is urgency. It is time for community reflection. Yuria will share two core guiding principles from her scholarship, Kin Relationality and Ecological Belonging. She will explain how these concepts can help us access an ever-expansive unfolding of a path of meaning and participation rooted in honoring Life.
We are living in a very exciting time as we witness more instances of successful Indigenous-led #landback campaigns and triumphs over the extraction industry than ever before, but we are also becoming increasingly aware that we cannot restore relations with the land without addressing our own trauma. This session will explore such critical questions as: How might the fight for #landback benefit from the inclusion of Black people and other historically marginalized groups? Does ‘call out culture’ actually harm decolonization movements? In addition to frankly exploring these issues, the panelists will share practical strategies for addressing them using such tools as an intergenerational focus, ceremony, and time on the land. Moderated by Eriel Deranger. With: Ellen Gabriel, Carlee Loft, other TBA.
It is not surprising that Indigenous Peoples are leading the way in the “Rights of Nature” movement given that the idea that trees, waters, and ecosystems have a right to flourish reflects Indigenous worldviews. In this panel, we’ll hear from Indigenous leaders whose tribes have adopted Rights of Nature frameworks to protect sacred territories. They will share practical strategies for organizing and implementing Rights of Nature campaigns within international legal frameworks. Join us to learn more about the movement, and how you can be a part of it. Moderated by Brittany Gondolfi. With: Samantha Skenandore; Danielle Greendeer and Erin Matariki Carr.
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