Free Virtual Conference Highlights Work of Native Scholars

Community Engagement; Diversity; Policy; Social Work

A virtual conference, Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainability, will be held October 6 – 10, sponsored by six institutions in the St. Louis region. Seven brief conference sessions, led by nationally recognized Native scholars and other specialists, will address topics such as indigenous models of sustainability and Native foodways. The sessions are open to all, free of charge – registration is required.

The Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies will sponsor Electa Hare-Redcorn to examine how Native women are changing policy in land stewardship by acknowledging and implementing just transitions in agricultural development. Her virtual talk, Pari In Perpetuity: Peeling Back The Layers Of Agricultural Policy In A Prayerful Way, will be held on October 7, 2021, from 12:30-1:30 CT.

Headlining the conference is the Harris Conservation Forum, hosted by the Whitney R. Harris Center for World Ecology at the University of Missouri-St Louis. A featured speaker is Robin Kimmerer (Citizen Potawatomi), a plant ecologist at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. Kimmerer is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor who serves as the founding director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs that draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. She will present “Restoration and Reciprocity: Renewing Relationships with the Land.”

“Repairing ecosystem structure and function must be complemented by restoration of a reciprocal relationship to land. Synergy between indigenous and scientific knowledge can guide the process of healing both land and relationship, through biocultural approaches, leading to reciprocal restoration and justice for the land,” Kimmerer said.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the Kathryn M. Buder American Indian Studies Center at Washington University in St. Louis, the Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, the Native American Studies Program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and the Center for Spirituality & Sustainability at SIUE.

Learn more and register at the Harris World Ecology Center website. For information, contact Greg Fields, SIUE professor of philosophy ( or 618-650-3246).