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Adirondacks for All

Deep History and Belonging in the Adirondacks

May 31, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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The Adirondack mountains, lakes, and forests are an international symbol of wilderness within which humans are often considered to be recent intruders. In fact, the story of the human presence on this landscape runs even deeper than the forests themselves. Since the end of the last Ice Age when open tundra still dominated the region, predecessors and ancestors of Haudenosaunee and Abenaki peoples have made this region their home, although many historical accounts falsely claim that indigenous people were only visitors or absent altogether. This program will explore the deep human history of the Adirondacks and consider ways in which recent archeological discoveries have pushed the boundaries of scientific and historical knowledge and helped to shape larger discussions of belonging, ownership, stewardship, and the concept of wilderness itself.

 About The Speakers:

Curt Stager is a scientist, educator, and author whose research deals with climate change and deep ecological histories of lakes and landscapes around the world.  His work is published in prominent technical journals such as Science as well as periodicals such as National Geographic and The New York Times, and he co-hosts Natural Selections, a weekly science program on North Country Public Radio.  Curt is the author of four books, most recently “Still Waters: The Secret World of Lakes.”  He teaches natural sciences and holds an endowed research chair at Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York.  In 2013, the Carnegie-Case Foundation named him Science Professor of the Year for New York State.

David Fadden was born to John and Eva Fadden in Lake Placid, NY and grew up in the tiny Adirondack Mountain community of Onchiota. In his youth, he grew up surrounded by the wild beauty of the region, by his grandparents Ray and Christine Fadden’s teachings and stories, and by his parents’ creative example and encouragement. Eva Fadden expressed through wood sculpture and John, a retired art teacher, is a painter and prolific illustrator. With strong ties to both Akwesasne and Onchiota, David has established a solid reputation as a painter, but he is also recognized as a storyteller, illustrator, writer, and sculptor. An admirer of the Dutch and Renaissance painters David finds inspiration in the old masters’ eloquent and seemingly effortless use of light. His subjects range from traditional Haudenosaunee teachings to intimate and inspired portrayals of community members. Working primarily in acrylics, he often combines fine brushwork with palette knife applications to produce luminous interpretations of Haudenosaunee youth and elders.

Tim Messner is a father, a wanna-be craftsman, low-level food producer, professor, and archaeologist. His family moved to Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) territory in 2012 when Messner started a job at SUNY Potsdam. Soon after arriving in the North Country, Messner became interested in the deep Indigenous history of the Adirondack uplands. He has spent the last decade exploring the Adirondacks for recreational and scholarly pursuits.


The “Adirondacks for All” program series was developed in partnership with the Adirondack Experience, the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, The Wild Center, and the Nature Conservancy