Indigenous Earth Relations Alliance
The Indigenous Earth Relations Alliance Conference at CSU, Chico focuses on concerns of local and regional tribal people regarding our relationships with the earth, and how the campus community can most effectively work in solidarity with indigenous peoples to address important contemporary issues of land management. This effort is driven by both a desire and need to hear from indigenous communities about land management and sustainability on occupied lands of what is now known as California State University, Chico. The conference provides a localized analysis of the effects of social and environmental degradation and the applied ecological strategies for reconciliation and regeneration.
Indigenous Earth Relations Alliance Conference
Conference Keynote Speaker
Chief Caleen Sisk
Spiritual Leader and Tribal Chief, Winnemem Wintu Tribe
Chief Sisk returns to her alma mater, CSU Chico (B.A. and teaching credential), to talk about environmental issues. She asserts, “We have to stop managing the environment – we need to manage ourselves. We don’t understand our place here on earth. We are disassociated from our environment.” Chief Sisk’s’ presentation includes a compelling film clip about how the tribe struggled to secure a dignified and peaceful environment on the McCloud River in order to conduct a coming-of-age-ceremony for her daughter. This is not only a struggle with government authorities for a temporary closure of the campground and part of the river where the ceremony will take place, it is also the struggle of her tribe to keep its culture alive. After the film, Chief Sisk discusses contemporary Northern California environmental issues, such as the diminishing salmon runs, dropping water table and the “twin tunnels” proposal to divert water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the southern part of the state.
Presentation Time: 1 hour, 18 minutes