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

Decorative: Image from slideshow presentationChief 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 | View Now

The Writer’s Voice: Creative Non-Fiction

Dr. Daryl Farmer

Faculty, Department of English, University of Alaska-Fairbanks


Dr. Daryl Farmer reads from and discusses “Bicycling Beyond the Divide: Two Journeys into the West.” His book follows him on his 5,000-mile journey through the diverse populations and ever-changing physical and social landscapes that make up America. In 1985, Dr. Farmer traveled by bicycle through 11 Western states and the Canadian province of British Columbia. He wrote his book 20 years later, using the notes from the journal he kept while “on the road.” His story takes place in the context of the world of the mid-1980s and also in the context of his current perspective. He is the recipient of Barnes and Nobel’s Discover Great New Writers Award.


Presentation Time: 1 hour, 11 minutes