Past Event

Environment, Climate, and Cultural Heritage: Native American Perspectives

November 19, 2021
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Casa Italiana, 1161 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027
View video here

This online symposium gathers distinguished leaders in law and practice who advance the protection and survival of the cultural heritage of Indigenous communities.

Supported by a grant from:
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Welcome: David Freedberg, Italian Academy, Columbia University

Introduction of speakers: Angelo Baca, New York University
(Diné and Hopi)

Darren Ranco, University of Maine
(Penobscot Nation)
“Developing a climate adaptation baseline for Wabanaki Tribal Nations: Diplomacy, research methods, and priorities”

Elizabeth Kronk Warner, University of Utah
(Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)
“Environmental justice in Indian Country”

Clint Carroll, University of Colorado, Boulder
(Cherokee Nation)
“The land is us; We are the land: Cherokee climate action and relational continuity”

Margaret Redsteer, University of Washington
(Crow Nation)
“Whose voices are heard? Understanding inequities in climate dialogues”


Concluding remarks: David Freedberg

This online event is part of the Academy's International Observatory for Cultural Heritage, known for its conferences on the preservation of Indigenous cultures, ranging from the U.S. to the Middle East to Africa and Europe. Read more about Threatened Heritage: Bears Ears, Chaco, and Beyond and Resisting, Reclaiming, Reframing: Indigenous Communities and Art Museum Collections, which brought together Indigenous cultural leaders from around North America to build connections and take action.

Image: Tségháhoodzání (Window Rock, in Arizona). Ben FrantzDale, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

About the speakers:

Angelo Baca is a cultural activist, scholar, filmmaker and currently a doctoral student in anthropology at New York University. He is the cultural resources coordinator at Utah Diné Bikéyah, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the defense and protection of culturally significant ancestral lands. The National Parks Conservation Association recently designated him as one of “10 Under 40” dynamic cultural activists who make up the association’s Next Generation Advisory Council. He has published a widely read op-ed in the New York Times. Shash Jaa’: Bears Ears is Angelo Baca’s latest award-winning film about the five tribes of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition that worked together to protect 1.9 million acres of Utah wilderness through a national monument designation. His work reflects a long-standing dedication to both Western and Indigenous knowledge.

Clint Carroll is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. He received his doctorate from the University of California Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in Anthropology, with a minor in American Indian Studies. A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, he works closely with Cherokee people in Oklahoma on issues of land conservation and the perpetuation of land-based knowledge and ways of life. His book, Roots of Our Renewal: Ethnobotany and Cherokee Environmental Governance (2015, University of Minnesota Press), explores how tribal natural resource managers navigate the material and structural conditions of settler colonialism, as well as how recent efforts in cultural revitalization are informing such practices through traditional forms of decision-making and local environmental knowledge.
Dr. Carroll has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Udall Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Science Foundation. He was also a 2014–2016 Fellow of the Native Investigator Development Program, funded by the National Institutes of Health. His work has been published in Ethnohistory, Geoforum, Environmental Research, EcoHealth, and two edited collections. He is an active member of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology.

Sarah Krakoff is the deputy solicitor for parks and wildlife in the U.S. Department of the Interior. She joined the faculty of the University of Colorado Law School in 1999, and served as the Moses Lasky Professor of Law. She is a nationally recognized expert in Native American law, natural resources law, and environmental justice. She is a nationally recognized expert in Native American law, natural resources law, and environmental justice. She is the founder and director of the Acequia Assistance Project, which provides free representation to low-income farmers in the San Luis Valley. Before joining the University of Colorado Law School, Sarah directed the university’s American Indian Law Clinic and secured permanent funding to ensure the Clinic's future. She received her J.D. from U.C. Berkeley in 1991 and her B.A. from Yale in 1986.

Elizabeth Kronk Warner is Dean and Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. She was formerly Associate Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Kansas School of Law (KU), where she was also the Director of the Tribal Law and Government Center.
Dean Kronk Warner is a nationally recognized expert in the intersection of Environmental and Indian law. She has taught courses in Property, Indian, Environmental and Natural Resources Law, and supervised the KU Tribal Judicial Support Clinic. She has received several teaching excellence awards, co-authored several books on environmental issues and Native Americans, and has over 40 articles and book chapters to her credit. Dean Kronk Warner, a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, served as an appellate judge for the tribe and as a district judge for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe.
Dean Kronk Warner previously was an active member of the Federal Bar Association, serving on its national Board of Directors. In 2014, she received the Federal Bar Association President’s Award for leadership and extraordinary service, commitment, and guidance to the Federal Bar Association and its members. She is currently active in the American Bar Association, where she is co-chair of the Native American Resources Committee. She holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan, a B.S. from Cornell University, and also studied at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Darren Ranco has a joint appointment at the University of Maine in the Department of Anthropology, the Senator George J Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, and in Native American Programs, where he serves as Chair of Native American Programs and Coordinator of Native American Research. His research focuses on the ways in which indigenous communities in the United States resist environmental destruction by using indigenous diplomacies and critiques of liberalism to protect cultural resources, and how state knowledge systems, rooted in colonial contexts, continue to expose indigenous peoples to an inordinate amount of environmental risk. He teaches classes on indigenous intellectual property rights, research ethics, environmental justice and tribal governance. A member of the Penobscot Nation, he is particularly interested in how better research relationships can be made between universities, Native and non-Native researchers, and indigenous communities.

Margaret Redsteer is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington. A member of the Crow Nation, she studies the ways that climate change is fueling dust storms. Drawing on local knowledge, she has documented the impact of climate change on indigenous people in the Southwest and Great Plains. Her interest in geology stems from her concern about water quality on native lands. She was the coordinating lead author for a National Climate Assessment report on the impact of climate change on indigenous tribes in the southwestern United States.

Contact Information

Columbia University Italian Academy