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Adirondacks for All

Indigenous Perspectives on Adirondack Park: Knowledge & Practice

julio 26, 2022 19:00 - 20:00
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The Adirondack mountains are part of the traditional homeland of the Mohawk (Kaniekehaka). Lost through theft, illegitimate treaty agreements, and fraudulent land sales after the American Revolution, the Mohawk people have made efforts to reclaim some land, mostly adjacent to the current reservation, and affirm that the mountains are still legally part of the original territory. Nevertheless, Indigenous peoples have worked to maintain their cultural footprint in the region and create space to practice their traditions and lifeways in the mountains, forests, and waters of the Adirondacks. Through communal initiatives and strategic partnerships with museums and historical preservation organizations, conservation nonprofits and land trusts, and educational institutions, Haudenosaunee communities continue to make valuable contributions to the park’s environmental and cultural heritage. In this program, Lorna Mae Thomas, Dave Fadden, and Neil Patterson will discuss their relationship to the Adirondacks and their efforts to incorporate Indigenous knowledge into the preservation of the Adirondack Park, now and for future generations.


 Sobre el ponente:

Lorna Maie Thomas is a member of the Bear Clan of the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne. Attending the Akwesasne Freedom School, and completing internships on and off the territory she has acquired first hand knowledge of caring for baskets and beadwork. Maie has a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies, and works at the Native North American Traveling College and the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center.


Neil Patterson Jr. is Assistant Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, at SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry. His work has been to celebrate, restore, and build relationships between indigenous communities and their aboriginal territory. He believes that the pragmatic way in which indigenous people have co-evolved within their landscapes provides the most sublime template for re-imagining and creating sustainable food, material, and energy systems.


David Fadden is an artist, storyteller, and writer with strong ties to both Akwesasne and Onchiota. His subjects range from traditional Haudenosaunee teachings to intimate and inspired portrayals of community members. Fadden was recently invited to reimagine a living wetland exhibit at The Wild Center (Tupper Lake, NY) from a Haudenosaunee perspective. His work can be seen at the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center in Onchiota, a family-run facility founded in 1954 by his grandparents. Today, he continues the work to break down stereotypes and advance accurate understandings of Mohawk and Haudenosaunee culture.