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Annual Evelyn McNeill Sims Native Plant Lecture – Architects of Abundance: Indigenous Regenerative Land Management and the Excavation of Hidden History
April 2 @ 5:30 pm - 6:45 pm
With Dr. Lyla June Johnston (aka Lyla June), musician, scholar, and community organizer
Date: Sunday, April 2, 2023
Time: 5:30 – 6:45 p.m. ET, followed by a reception
Location: Hybrid – Reeves Auditorium and Zoom webinar
Fee: Free, preregistration required
Dr. Lyla June Johnston is an Indigenous musician, scholar, and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages. Her research focuses on the ways in which pre-colonial Indigenous Nations gardened large regions of Turtle Island (aka the Americas) to produce abundant food systems for humans and non-humans. Contrary to popular belief, Indigenous Peoples leveraged immense influence on their surrounding lands, fires, and waters in ways that could heal our planet today. Whether it’s periodically burning grassland ecosystems with low severity fires to maintain habitat for deer, buffalo, antelope, etc, or building intertidal rock walls that catch sediment and warmer waters to expand clam habitat, native people have a number of innovative strategies for scaling habitat for edible plants and animals whom they often view as relatives. Her work translates this poorly understood history to the Western world and highlights the connection between Indigenous land ethics, decolonial narratives, carbon sequestration, biodiversity augmentation, anthropogenic habitat expansion, and regional ecosystems connectivity. These success of the systems is believed to be due to their underlying value system of respect, reverence, responsibility and reciprocity.