Session 4: Water is Life, Food is Medicine (May 30)

Logo for the Slow Food Turtle Island Association, a recently formed partnership with the Slow Food Movement that aims to integrate native foods; read more at http://bit.ly/2qUcMFt

As we wrap up this seminar, we’re going to be looking at perspectives of science around our most important resources – water and food.

As described in last seminar’s reading from “Tending the Wild”, much of the California flora and fauna we see today is the result of thousands of years of management by native peoples, with a focus on both productivity and sustainability. Our understanding of this world is preserved in the study of ethnobotany, the study of an area’s plant properties and usage through the lens of indigenous knowledge and culture. This usage includes both food and medicine, and indeed these ideas are interchangeable: Food is Medicine.

Today, Western agricultural science has focused on addressing the critical issues of an exploding world population and widespread hunger and famine. The Green Revolution led by Norman Borlaug of the 1960s saved a billion lives; it also introduced dangerous toxins into the environment, reduced food diversity, and brought about the widespread use of genetically modified organism (GMO) crops.  Meanwhile, a counter-trend toward slow food production and consumption has found roots in indigenous food practice, but can this feed everyone? What is the future of food in our society?

Water is essential for all living things on Earth – Water is Life! This is the rallying cry of indigenous water protectors around Turtle Island, from Standing Rock (Sioux Tribe) in South Dakota to Na Wai ‘Eha – the four great waters – in Maui, Hawaii. We’ll discuss the particular struggles between indigenous and western perspectives on water usage, and also hear a little about kalo, or taro, the essential food of indigenous Hawaiians.

We will meet as usual at the InterTribal Resource Center, then go out to the UCSD Ecological Reserve (see links below) to explore the native flora and fauna right here on campus. Please bring comfortable shoes and plan for a good walk.

Pre-seminar exercise:

Please bring in one (1) native food from either the San Diego area or (if you have an indigenous background) your native heritage. The readings and webpages below can help you identify some local native foods (Native Foods Cafe does not count!).

Pre-seminar reading/viewing:

From the First to the Last Bite: Learning from the Food Knowledge of Our Ancestors by John Mohawk in “Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future”, edited by Melissa K. Nelson (Bear & Country: Rochester, VT): https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwrkjDsmB-B0UDBJM1pvUFp1bGM

Savor San Diego: Indigenous Foods (KPBS video) http://video.kpbs.org/video/2365930468/

List of native and non-native plants in San Diego (around Fall) from Prof. Pao Chan: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwrkjDsmB-B0Rm5lSzNoVFJVTWc

6 Things You Should Know About GMOs by Chelsey Luger, Indian Country Today (September 14, 2017): https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/culture/health-wellness/6-things-know-gmos/

Na Wai ‘Eha by Paul Wood, Maui Magazine: https://mauimagazine.net/na-wai-eha/

Learn about the Cultural Conversancy’s Native Foodways Project at http://www.nativeland.org/native-foodways/

Check out the San Diego Chapter of the California Native Plant Society: https://www.cnpssd.org/

Learn about the UCSD Natural Reserve System at https://nrs.ucsd.edu/ and the on-campus Ecological Reserve.

 

Session 3: The Sky, The Land, The Water (May 2)

Protestors and protectors at the Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock who fought to watersheds and sacred sites from the Dakota Access Keystone XL pipeline. More than 8,000 people representing 180 tribes converged on this site in 2016 and 2017 (photo credit Dallas Goldtooth)

As discussed in the last session, indigenous knowledge is anchored in a broadly-defined concept of place, which results in particular attention to environment.

When Europeans moved into the western US, they found indigenous people living peacefully in a “wild paradise”, as captured in John Muir’s iconic photography. However, these Western settlers failed to recognize the long history of environmental management. For thousands of years, indigenous Californians have conducted controlled burns, re-directed rivers, and planted wild grasses to optimize the fecundity and diversity of the flora and fauna.  Conflict over how environmental resources are used, be it the exploitative rubber extraction in 20th century Amazonia or the Standing Rock movement that has arisen in response to the Keystone XL pipeline constructions, reflect continued differences in indigenous and western perspectives on how science is done and sustainability with the environment.

In our third seminar, we will examine how attention to the sky, the land and the water shapes the principles and practices of indigenous science. Discussion topics will include: sustainability practices in indigenous and western sciences, the making of the California ecosystem, the story of Amazonian rubber, Standing Rock, and sacred lands and science through the lens of the Thirty Meter Telescope (some of these topics we are coming back to).

We will again meet at the InterTribal Resource Center.

Pre-seminar exercise:

Consider one activity you do in your scientific/academic research or studies, reflect on where the resources for that activity comes from, and consider whether you could do the same activity through more sustainable methods. It may not be possible?  For example, to write this, I need a laptop that is made in part with rare metals extracted in pit mines in China. I could instead call each of you up to invite you to the seminar, but my phone uses the same rare earth metals. How do I get around this?

Pre-seminar reading/viewing:

(Note that some of the readings from last week are also relevant)

Introduction from Tending the Wild by M. Kat Anderson: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwrkjDsmB-B0cTBFRE9mSTRkclk

First episode of Tending the Wild series developed by KCET around the book: https://www.kcet.org/shows/tending-the-wild/episodes/tending-the-wild (feel free to view the others and get the book!)

“Rubber Barons’ Abuses Live On in Memory and Myth”, an article about the impact of the Amazonian rubber boom of the early 20th century on indigenous South Americans: http://www.sapiens.org/culture/rubber-era-myths/

“A Living, Breathing Movement’: An Introduction to the Dakota Access Pipeline Issue” 2017, Rohini Walker for KCET Earth Focus: https://www.kcet.org/shows/earth-focus/a-living-breathing-movement-an-introduction-to-the-dakota-access-pipeline-issue

 

 

Session 2: The Importance of Place (April 18)

Polynesian wayfinding star compass:
http://www.hokulea.com/education-at-sea/polynesian-navigation/the-star-compass/

As discussed in our first meeting, place is a powerful concept in the many indigenous worldviews, as harmony with one’s environment requires a deep understanding of that environment – location, time, culture, physical & spiritual realms. Orientation with respect to cardinal directions or regional landmarks is a way to understand one’s environment, anchor cultural and spiritual practice, and even cross an ocean.  Place is also important in Western science, but more often as a framework to analyze a system (e.g., maps, coordinate systems) rather than as an integral part of the system itself (e.g., ecology).

“Indigenous people are a people of Place, and the nature of Place is embedded in their language. The physical, cognitive, and emotional orientation of a people is a kind of map they carry in their heads and transfer from generation to generation. This map is multi-dimensional and reflects the spiritual as well as the mythic geography of a people.”

Cajete, G. (2000). Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence.

In our second seminar, we will discuss on ways in which concepts of place and time are shared and differ in Indigenous and Western science perspectives. Discussion topics will include: origins of the concepts of place and time, cultural influences on perceptions of place and time, Polynesian wayfinding, and sacred lands and science through the lens of the Thirty Meter Telescope (with a toe dip into Hawaiian history). Sammy Mitchell will lead us through another movement exercise based on the 7 directions.

We will again meet at the Intertribal Resource Center in Price Center West, and then move on to the Price Center Dance Space; see the map located on the Native American Student Alliance’s webpage: http://www.nativestudents.com/meetings.html.

Pre-seminar homework:

(1) At the end of the last meeting I asked everyone to be “meta” and think about why you have interest in/why society values Western science. Prepare some of your thoughts on this for discussion

(2) To stimulate this session, please bring with you an object, idea or story that ties you/your family/your people to a place or time you consider to your “home” or “the center of your Universe”, and be prepared to describe this to the class.

Pre-seminar reading:

Please read through the following and prepare to discuss during our seminar:

Where is the Holy Land?” 2002, Leslie Gray, in “Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future”, edited by Melissa K. Nelson (Bear & Country: Rochester, VT): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwrkjDsmB-B0Q2FfYVZMZENlc28/view?usp=sharing

The Art of Thriving in Place” 2004, John Mohawk, in”Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future”, edited by Melissa K. Nelson (Bear & Country: Rochester, VT): https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwrkjDsmB-B0ak1hUS03dHRQLVE

Browse through “Polynesian Navigation” on the Polynesian Wayfinding Society’s Hokule’a site: http://www.hokulea.com/education-at-sea/polynesian-navigation/

Finding the Way Back” M. R. O’Connor, 2015, The New Yorker: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwrkjDsmB-B0RWV5by1hN01aV1U

“TMT on Mauna Kea: Where Science, Culture & Community Collide” 2016, STEM and Culture Chronicle 18, 2: https://sacnas.org/about/stories/sacnas-new/winter-2016-TMT%20

“Under Hawaii’s Starriest Skies, a Fight Over Sacred Ground” 2016, New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/04/science/hawaii-thirty-meter-telescope-mauna-kea.html?_r=0.

 

Session 1: Indigenous & Western Worldviews (April 11)

Logo of the Indigenous Worldviews in Informal Science Learning (IWISE) conference; learn more about this logo at http://iwiseconference.org/iwise-logo/

In our first meeting this week, we’re going to review the goals of the seminar and then dive right in to discussing the main subject: what are the distinct and similar qualities of indigenous and western ways of knowing? We’ll be looking at this through the lens of the big challenges our society faces today – global climate change, resource depletion and global poverty – and exploring in what ways elements of indigenous and western science can be brought together to bear on them. We’ll also present some resources for exploring this connection, many made available through the NSF-funded Indigenous Worldviews in Informal Science Education (IWISE) program (logo above).

We’ll be meeting at the Intertribal Resource Center in Price Center West 2nd floor, right across from the Marshall College Room (see map below).

Before we meet, please take some time to review these materials:

Pre-reading:

Pre-listening:

(curated by astrophysicist Charee Peters – Yankton Sioux tribe)

Session 5: Water is Life, Food is Medicine

Logo for the Slow Food Turtle Island Association, a recently formed partnership with the Slow Food Movement that aims to integrate native foods; read more at http://bit.ly/2qUcMFt

As we wrap up this seminar, we’re going to be looking at perspectives of science around our most important resources – water and food.

As described in last seminar’s reading from “Tending the Wild”, much of the California flora and fauna we see today is the result of thousands of years of management by native peoples, with a focus on both productivity and sustainability. Our understanding of this world is preserved in the study of ethnobotany, the study of an area’s plant properties and usage through the lens of indigenous knowledge and culture. This usage includes both food and medicine, and indeed these ideas are interchangeable: Food is Medicine.

Today, Western agricultural science has focused on addressing the critical issues of an exploding world population and widespread hunger and famine. The Green Revolution led by Norman Borlaug of the 1960s may have saved a billion lives, but it also introduced dangerous toxins into the environment, reduced food diversity, and brought about the widespread use of genetically modified organism (GMO) crops, a controversial topic today.  Meanwhile, a counter-trend toward slow food production and consumption has found roots in indigenous food practice, but can this feed everyone? What is the future of food in our society?

Water is essential for all living things on Earth – Water is Life! This is the rallying cry of indigenous water protectors around Turtle Island, from Standing Rock (Sioux Tribe) in South Dakota to Na Wai ‘Eha – the four great waters – in Maui, Hawaii. We’ll discuss the particular struggles between indigenous and western perspectives on water usage, and also hear a little about kalo, or taro, the essential food of indigenous Hawaiians.

We will meet in Matthews Quad (our “outdoor” spot).

Pre-seminar exercise:

Please bring in one (1) native food from either the San Diego area or (if you have an indigenous background) your native heritage. The readings and webpages below can help you identify local native foods (Native Foods Cafe does not count!). Please bring enough to share!

Pre-seminar reading/viewing:

Delfina Cuero: Her Autobiography, An Account of Her Last Years and Her Ethnobotanic Contributions by Florence Shipek; we’ll be reading the last segment on her ethnobotany of the Kumeyaay: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwrkjDsmB-B0bnVPVjRBYVA0WGc

From the First to the Last Bite: Learning from the Food Knowledge of Our Ancestors by John Mohawk in “Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future”, edited by Melissa K. Nelson (Bear & Country: Rochester, VT): https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwrkjDsmB-B0UDBJM1pvUFp1bGM

Savor San Diego: Indigenous Foods (KPBS video) http://video.kpbs.org/video/2365930468/

List of native and non-native plants in San Diego (around Fall) from Prof. Pao Chan: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwrkjDsmB-B0Rm5lSzNoVFJVTWc

Seeds of Doubt: An Activist’s Controversial Crusade Against Genetically Modified Crops by Michael Specter, The New Yorker (August 25, 2014) http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/08/25/seeds-of-doubt

Standing Against GMOs is Standing For Sovereignty by Darla Antoine, Indian Country Today (March 5, 2014): https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/culture/health-wellness/standing-against-gmos-is-standing-for-sovereignty/

Na Wai ‘Eha by Paul Wood, Maui Magazine: https://mauimagazine.net/na-wai-eha/

Read about the kalo, or taro, plant: https://www.canoeplants.com/kalo.html

Learn how the Waipa Foundation conserves the land (aina), watershed and culture of the waipa ahupua’a through community programs and weekly poi making:  http://www.waipafoundation.org/

Four Ways to Look at Standing Rock: An Indigenous Perspective by Kayla DeVault, Yes! Magazine (November 22, 2016): http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/four-ways-to-look-at-standing-rock-an-indigenous-perspective-20161122

Learn about the Cultural Conversancy’s Native Foodways Project at http://www.nativeland.org/native-foodways/

Get involved in native plants through the San Diego Chapter of the California Native Plant Society: https://www.cnpssd.org/

 

Session 4: The Sky, The Land, The Water

The Hōkūle’a arriving in New York City during its 3-year world-wide voyage that ends in June 2017; see more at http://www.hokulea.com/worldwide-voyage. Photo credit: Nā’ālehu Anthony

As discussed in the last session, indigenous knowledge is anchored in place, which results in particular attention to environment. When Europeans moved into the western US, they found indigenous people living peacefully in a “paradise”. But what Europeans did not recognize was the long history of environmental management. For thousands of years, indigenous Californians have conducted controlled burns, re-directed rivers, and planted wild grasses to optimize the fecundity and diversity of the flora and fauna. Similarly, awareness of environment – star positions and motions, air and sea currents, bird behaviors – also allowed Polynesians to explore the Pacific and settle remote islands thousands of years before European explorers crossed the Atlantic. Conflict over how environmental resources are used, be it exploitative rubber extraction in 20th century Amazonia or the construction of large astronomical telescopes on Mauna Kea and Haleakala today, reflect continued differences in indigenous and western perspectives on how science is done and sustainability with the environment.

In our fourth seminar, we will examine how attention to the sky, the land and the water shapes the principles and practices of indigenous science. Discussion topics will include: sustainability practices in indigenous and western sciences, the making of the California ecosystem, Polynesian wayfinding, the story of Amazonian rubber, and sacred lands and science through the lens of the Thirty Meter Telescope (some of these topics we are coming back to).

Sammy Mitchell and Burgundy Fletcher will also prepare us for this week’s UCSD Powwow on Friday and Saturday.

We will meet at our usual spot at Matthews Quad the Large Comunidad Room at the Cross Cultural Center.

Pre-seminar exercise:

Continue our exercise introduced by Sammy during last seminar’s movement – taking awareness of the direction you face throughout the day and think about the words and movement associated with that direction.

Pre-seminar reading/viewing:

(Note that some of the readings from last week are also relevant)

Introduction from Tending the Wild by M. Kat Anderson: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwrkjDsmB-B0cTBFRE9mSTRkclk

First episode of Tending the Wild series developed by KCET around the book: https://www.kcet.org/shows/tending-the-wild/episodes/tending-the-wild (feel free to view the others and get the book!)

Explore the Exploratorium’s “Never Lost” website on Polynesian voyaging: http://annex.exploratorium.edu/neverlost/

Visit the Hōkūle’a worldwide voyage at http://www.hokulea.com/.

Finding the Way Back” M. R. O’Connor, 2015, The New Yorker: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwrkjDsmB-B0RWV5by1hN01aV1U

“Rubber Barons’ Abuses Live On in Memory and Myth”, an article about the impact of the Amazonian rubber boom of the early 20th century on indigenous South Americans: http://www.sapiens.org/culture/rubber-era-myths/

“TMT on Mauna Kea: Where Science, Culture & Community Collide” 2016, STEM and Culture Chronicle 18, 2: https://medium.com/stem-and-culture-chronicle/tmt-on-mauna-kea-where-science-culture-community-collide-e6ad2d13686d

“Under Hawaii’s Starriest Skies, a Fight Over Sacred Ground” 2016, New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/04/science/hawaii-thirty-meter-telescope-mauna-kea.html?_r=0

Session 3: The Importance of Place

Polynesian wayfinding star compass:
http://www.hokulea.com/education-at-sea/polynesian-navigation/the-star-compass/

Place is a powerful concept in the many indigenous worldviews, as harmony with one’s environment requires a deep understanding of that environment. Orientation with respect to cardinal directions or regional landmarks is a way to understand one’s environment, anchor cultural and spiritual practice, and even cross an ocean.  Place is also important in Western science, but more often as a framework to analyze a system (e.g., maps, coordinate systems) rather than as an integral part of the system itself (e.g., ecology).

“Indigenous people are a people of Place, and the nature of Place is embedded in their language. The physical, cognitive, and emotional orientation of a people is a kind of map they carry in their heads and transfer from generation to generation. This map is multi-dimensional and reflects the spiritual as well as the mythic geography of a people.”

Cajete, G. (2000). Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence.

In our third seminar, we will discuss on ways in which concepts of place and time are shared and differ in Indigenous and Western science perspectives. Discussion topics will include: origins of the concepts of place and time, cultural influences on perceptions of place and time, Polynesian wayfinding, and sacred lands and science through the lens of the Thirty Meter Telescope (with a toe dip into Hawaiian history). Sammy Mitchell will lead us through a movement exercise based on the 7 directions, and we’ll hear from Cliff Kapono on his PhD project studying variations in surfers’ microbiomes around the world.

We will meet in the Intertribal Resource Center in the Price Center; see the map located on the Native American Student Alliance’s webpage: http://www.nativestudents.com/meetings.html.

Pre-seminar exercise:

Bring with you an object, idea or story that ties you/your family/your people to a place or time you consider to your “home” or “the center of your Universe”, and be prepared to describe this to the class.

Pre-seminar reading:

Where is the Holy Land?” 2002, Leslie Gray, in “Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future”, edited by Melissa K. Nelson (Bear & Country: Rochester, VT): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwrkjDsmB-B0Q2FfYVZMZENlc28/view?usp=sharing

The Art of Thriving in Place” 2004, John Mohawk, in”Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future”, edited by Melissa K. Nelson (Bear & Country: Rochester, VT): https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwrkjDsmB-B0ak1hUS03dHRQLVE

Polynesian Navigation” on the Polynesian Wayfinding Society’s Hokule’a site: http://www.hokulea.com/education-at-sea/polynesian-navigation/

Finding the Way Back” M. R. O’Connor, 2015, The New Yorker: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwrkjDsmB-B0RWV5by1hN01aV1U

“TMT on Mauna Kea: Where Science, Culture & Community Collide” 2016, STEM and Culture Chronicle 18, 2: https://sacnas.org/about/stories/sacnas-new/winter-2016-TMT%20

“Under Hawaii’s Starriest Skies, a Fight Over Sacred Ground” 2016, New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/04/science/hawaii-thirty-meter-telescope-mauna-kea.html?_r=0

“Do Seas Make Us Sick? Surfers May Have the Answer” 2017, New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/03/science/surfers-antibiotic-resistant-bacteria.html?mwrsm=Facebook&_r=0

 

 

Session 2: Being Indigenous in Western Science (April 20)

Logo of the UCSD SACNAS Chapter

For our second seminar, we’re going to explore what it means to be an indigenous scientist in a largely western science culture. Our discussion will focus on two specific examples: indigenous astronomers, sacred spaces, and the Thirty Meter Telescope; and indigenomics, defined by Dr. Keolu Fox as “genetic research that improves minority health through methods that respect indigenous knowledge.” We are fortunate to have Dr. Fox here at UCSD, and he will discuss his own work on indigenous health using mobile genomics.

Pre-seminar assignment:

Who are the indigenous scientists in your field? Identify a reasonably well-known indigenous scientist in the area of your specific science interest/research/major, and be prepared to share their (brief) biography at the beginning of the seminar.

Pre-seminar reading:

Check out some of the organizations that support Native scientists in the Americas and abroad:

“Astronomy from an indigenous perspective” by Charee Peters: https://osf.io/r2epw/ ; you can also watch her 2015 presentation at the Inclusive Astronomy conference at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vhuNqzelmA&list=PLlvgWTeleClZrz5rJWvlNVIAQ86IzKp4g&index=9

“Why So Few Native American Astronomers? One Student’s Perspective” by Calvin Ortega, 2014, AAS Spectrumhttps://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwrkjDsmB-B0aUlWdlBELVJvdDg

“TMT on Mauna Kea: Where Science, Culture & Community Collide” 2016, STEM and Culture Chronicle 18, 2: https://sacnas.org/about/stories/sacnas-new/winter-2016-TMT%20

“Genomics for the World” by Carlos Bustamante, Esteban Burchard & Francisco De La Vega 2011, Nature 475, 163: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3708540/pdf/nihms481881.pdf

“Why genetic research must be more diverse” (our own!) Dr. Keolu Fox; watch his 2016 TED talk at https://www.ted.com/talks/keolu_fox_why_genetic_research_must_be_more_diverse

“Making Indigenous Peoples Equal Partners in Gene Research”, 2015, the Atlantic,: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2015/10/indigenising-genomics/412096/

Session 1: Indigenous & Western Worldviews (April 13)

Logo of the Indigenous Worldviews in Informal Science Learning (IWISE) conference; learn more about this logo at http://iwiseconference.org/iwise-logo/

In our first meeting this week, we’re going to review the goals of the seminar and then dive right in to discussing the main subject: what are the distinct and similar qualities of indigenous and western ways of knowing? We’ll be looking at this through the lens of the big challenges our society faces today – global climate change, resource depletion and global poverty – and exploring in what ways elements of indigenous and western science can be brought together to bear on them. We’ll also present some resources for exploring this connection, many made available through the NSF-funded Indigenous Worldviews in Informal Science Education (IWISE) program (logo above).

We’ll be meeting at the Intertribal Resource Center in Price Center West 2nd floor, right across from the Marshall College Room (see map below).

Before we meet, please take some time to review these materials:

Pre-reading:

Pre-listening:

(curated by astrophysicist Charee Peters – Yankton Sioux tribe)

Welcome to Physics 192: Indigenous Science Senior Seminar

This course is going to explore Indigenous and Western ways of knowing – how do they intersect? how do they differ? how are they shaped by the cultures in which they originated? We’ll also be examining how indigenous communities interact with Western science and technology; both in conflict (e.g., Standing Rock or the Thirty Meter Telescope) and in harmony (e.g., community learning models and sustainability initiatives). The goal of the seminar is for all of us to develop a greater understanding of how knowledge of the natural world is acquired, interpreted and acted upon through different cultural perspectives, particularly through an indigenous lens. This seminar does NOT require any prior Physics coursework.