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What does it mean to live well with the Earth in the face of climate and ecological crisis? What does a self-determined climate future look like for Indigenous communities and peoples who have persisted despite centuries of colonization and environmental upheaval?

In this year’s D’Arcy McNickle Distinguished Lecture, Deborah McGregor addresses Indigenous climate change futures envisioned and generated by Elders, community knowledge holders, and the Indigenous Studies academic community.

McGregor will be joined by Teresa Montoya to explore how we can learn from the past through storywork that may inform our collective and sustainable future.

Deborah McGregor (Anishinaabe from Whitefish River First Nation, Birch Island, Ontario) joined York University’s Osgoode Hall law faculty in 2015 as a cross-appointee with the Faculty of Environmental Studies. She is a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice. Professor McGregor’s research focuses on Indigenous knowledge and legal systems and their various applications in diverse contexts, including water and environmental governance, environmental justice, health and environment, and climate justice. 

Teresa Montoya (Diné and a citizen of the Navajo Nation), Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow 2019-2022 and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at University of Chicago, is a social scientist and media maker trained in socio-cultural anthropology, critical Indigenous studies, and filmmaking. Her current manuscript project, Permeable: Diné Politics of Extraction and Exposure, approaches territorial dispossession and environmental contamination in and around the Navajo Nation as pervasive features of contemporary Indigenous life.  

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This series celebrates Indigenous scholars, writers, and artists who consistently demonstrate excellence in their work concerning Indigenous peoples and histories in addition to actively addressing contemporary issues faced by American Indian and Indigenous communities.

This program is the first event in 'Relational Futures: A Symposium for Indigenous Land, Water, and Environment,' a multi-day conference bringing together Indigenous scholars, activists, and policy for dialogue around our relationships to land, water, and environment.

“Relational Futures” is cosponsored by the D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry, the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University, and Toward a Common Cause: Art, Social Change, and the MacArthur Fellows Program at 40, organized by the Smart Museum of Art in collaboration with exhibition, programmatic, and research partners across Chicago.

This lecture is presented with support from John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe.

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NOTE: This program is free an open to all, and will be held virtually on Zoom. You can also watch a live stream of the program, without registering in advance, on the Newberry Facebook page or YouTube channel.

Read more about the event here.

Presented by the Newberry Library.