#INDG2015 Fall Term Course Public site

Welcome to INDG 2015: Indigenous Ecological Ways of Knowing (Fall Term 2020)


Welcome to the public version of the course INDG 2015: Indigenous Ecological Ways of Knowing, running through the Fall term at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Every week I will upload public versions of the course materials. You are welcome to join in and read along with whatever course texts you have the capacity to access throughout the term. You are welcome to share your reflections on the materials and concepts explored in the course using the hashtag #INDG2015 on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I am so excited to have you join us as we explore Indigenous relationships to the environment.

Week 1: September 9 (class cancelled for Scholar Strike for Black Lives)

Background information for the course

Week 2: September 16: human-environmental relations, environmental racism, colonization, and Indigenous Studies, an introduction

Braiding Sweetgrass, Chapter 1: “Planting Sweetgrass” (Skywoman Falling, Council of Pecans, The Gift of Strawberries, An Offering, Asters and Goldenrod)

Newkirk, Vann R. 2016. “Fighting Environmental Racism in North Carolina”. The New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/fighting-environmental-racism-in-north-carolina

Jacobs, Beverley. 2010. “Environmental Racism on Indigenous Lands and Territories”. https://www.cpsa-acsp.ca/papers-2010/Jacobs.pdf

Week 3: September 23 –Indigenous ecological ways of knowing, North America

 • Braiding Sweetgrass–Chapter 2 “Tending Sweetgrass” (Learning the Grammar of Animacy, Maple Sugar Moon, Witch Hazel)

 • Watts, Vanessa. 2013. Indigenous Place‐Thought and Agency amongst Humans and Non-‐humans (First Woman and Sky Woman go on a European Tour!). DIES: Decolonization, Indigeneity, Education and Society 2(1): 20–34 https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/des/article/view/19145 

• Reo N (2019) Inawendiwin and Relational Accountability in Anishnaabeg Studies: The Crux of the Biscuit. Journal of Ethnobiology 39(1): 65-75.

Week 4: September 30 — Indigenous ecological ways of knowing, North America (Part 2)

• Braiding Sweetgrass—Chapter 2, “Tending Sweetgrass”: A Mother’s Work, The Consolation of Water Lillies

• Manuel, George. 2019 [1974]. “Mutual dependence”. In Fourth World: An Indian Reality. University of Minnesota Press. 

• Little Bear, Leroy. 2000. “Jagged Worldviews Colliding”. http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/aswt/worldviews/documents/jagged_worldviews_colliding.pdf

•Ebron, Paulla. 1998. “Enchanted Memories of Regional Difference in African American Culture”.
American Anthropologist 100 (1):94-105. https://www.jstor.org/stable/682811?seq=1

Week 4 links:





Week 5 October 7 – Indigenous ecological knowledges: South America 

• Braiding Sweetgrass, Chapter 3, “Picking Sweetgrass”: Allegiance to Gratitude, Epiphany in the Beans, The Three Sisters

 • Valencia, Robert. 2019. “Francia Márquez, Renowned Afro-Colombian Activist: What Environmental Racism Means To Me”. EarthJustice. https://earthjustice.org/blog/2019-august/francia-m-rquez-renowned-afro-colombian-activist-what-environmental-racism-means-to-me

• Painter, L. and R. Wallace. 2017. “On Our Lands: Indigenous Bolivians Take Control Of Their Forests”. https://e360.yale.edu/features/on-our-lands-indigenous-bolivians-take-control-of-their-forests

• de la Cadena, M. (2015) “Uncommoning nature” in e-flux August 2015. http://supercommunity.e-flux.com/texts/uncommoning-nature/

Week 5 Links:

Thanksgiving Address:



The Three Sisters:


Indigenous Plant Diva (film by Kamala Todd, featuring Cease Wyss)



Week 6 – October 14: Introduction to Environmental Knowledges in The Caribbean and the TransAtlantic 

 October 14: Introduction to Environmental Knowledges in The Caribbean and the TransAtlantic

Sharpe, Christina. 2016. “The Ship, Chapter 2 (pp.25-67) in In the Wake: On Blackness and Being. Duke University Press.

Lethabo King, Tiffany. 2019. “Introduction”. Pp. 1-35 in The Black Shoals. Duke University Press. Available for free online: https://www.dukeupress.edu/Assets/PubMaterials/978-1-4780-0636-7_601.pdf

Vaughn, Sarah. 2017. “Disappearing Mangroves: The Epistemic Politics of Climate Adaptation in Guyana.”  Cultural Anthropology 32(2): 441-467.

Week 6 video links:


Roundtable in honour of Dr. Sharpe’s work:


Video about Guyana Mangrove Restoration work (for activity at end of class):


Week 7 – October 21: Introduction to Environmental Knowledges in Asia

Braiding Sweetgrass, Chapter 3, “Picking Sweetgrass” (pp. 141-174) update: the page numbers don’t correspond in all versions of the book so I’ll start listing sections instead:  Wisgak Gokpenagen, Mishkos Kenomagwen, Maple Nation

 Rubis JM and Theriault N (2019) Concealing Protocols: Conservation, Indigenous Survivance, and the Dilemmas of Visibility. Social and Cultural Geography. DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2019.1574882. 

Paredes, Oona. 2016. “Rivers of Memory and Oceans of Difference in the Lumad World of Mindanao,” TRaNS: Trans -Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia 4(2): 329-349.

Viewing of “One Night in Bhopal” (documentary) link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=rJg19W8x_Ls&ab_channel=PatrickMcClelland

Links for Week 7

Interview with Gerald Vizenor:


Vizenor Talk

Dr. June Rubis and Dr. Noah Theriault Talk:

Dr. Oona Paredes Talk:

Wisgaak Gokpenagen:

Week 9 Introduction to Environmental Knowledges in Sápmi + Siberia

  • Braiding Sweetgrass, Chapter 3, “Picking Sweetgrass” (The Honorable Harvest, In the Footsteps of Nanabozho)
  • Brightman, Marc, Grotti, Vanessa, and Olga Ulturgasheva. 2006. “Introduction: Rethinking the “Frontier” in Amazonia and Siberia: Extractive economies, Indigenous politics, and social transfor- mations”. The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology Vol. 26, No. 2 (2006/2007), pp. 1-12 (available for free download with JSTOR): https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/ introduction-rethinking-the-frontier-in-amazonia-and-siberia-extractive-economies-indigenous-poli- tics-and-social-transformations(6141994c-8ebe-41b4-b871-ce9b8a5140bf).html
  • Vidal, John. 2016. “Sami reindeer herders battle conservationists and miners to cling on to Arctic culture”. The Observer. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/feb/21/sami-peo- ple-reindeer-herders-arctic-culture
  • Ulturgasheva, O. & Bodenhorn, B., 13 Jun 2017, “Climate Strategies: Thinking through Arctic Exam- ples”. In : Royal Society of London. Proceedings A. Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sci- ences. 375, 20160363, p. 1-13 13 p., 375: 20160363. https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/ files/55185524/Climate_Strategies_final_published_version.pdf

Week 9 LINKS:

Week 10 – November 11: Introduction to Environmental Knowledges in Africa 

Braiding Sweetgrass, Chapter 4, “Braiding Sweetgrass” (pp.205-240) update: the page numbers don’t correspond in all versions of the book so I’ll start listing sections instead:  The Sound of Silverbells, Sitting in a Circle

Baofo, Y.A., Saito, O., Kato, S., Kamiyama, C., Takeuchi, K. M. Nakahara. 2015.  “The role of traditional ecological knowledge in ecosystem services management: the case of four rural communities in Northern Ghana”. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21513732.2015.1124454

IPACC. 2016. “An Introduction to integrating African Indigenous & Traditional Knowledge in National Adaptation Plans, Programmes of Action, Platforms and Policies”. https://ipacc.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/indigenous_knowledge.pdf 

Macharia, Keguro. 2020. “belated: interruption” GLQ, 2020-06, Vol.26 (3), p.561-573 https://read.dukeupress.edu/glq/article/26/3/561/165441/belated-interruption

Ibrahim, Hindou Oumarou. 2019. “Indigenous Knowledge meets Science to Solve Climate Change”. TED talk. https://www.ted.com/talks/hindou_oumarou_ibrahim_indigenous_knowledge_meets_science_to_solve_climate_change

Week 10 Links




Week 11 — November 18: Introduction to Environmental Knowledges in Oceania

Braiding Sweetgrass, Chapter 4, “Braiding Sweetgrass” (pp.241-302) update: the page numbers don’t correspond in all versions of the book so I’ll start listing sections instead:  Burning Cascade Head, Putting Down Roots, Umbilicaria, Old Growth Children, Witness to the Rain

Banivanua Mar, Tracy. 2016. “Saltwater: the separation of people and territory”, Chapter 4 in Decolonisation and the Pacific. Cambridge University Press. 

Te Punga Somerville, Alice. “Māori People in the Pacific”, pp. 11-36 in Once Were Pacific: Māori Connections to Oceania. University of Minessota. Available online via Carleton Library. 

Povinelli, Elizabeth. (1995). Do Rocks Listen? The Cultural Politics of Apprehending Australian Aboriginal Labor. American Anthropologist 97(3): 505-518.

Viewing of “Papua New Guinea: Anthropology on Trial” (Nova Television,) http://catalogue.library.carleton.ca/record=b2409459

Week 12 (Final week of coursework!) — November 25: Traditional Ecological Knowledge

12.  November 25: Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Braiding Sweetgrass, Chapter 5, “Burning Sweetgrass” (pp.303-340) update: the page numbers don’t correspond in all versions of the book so I’ll start listing sections instead:  Windigo Footprints, The Sacred and the Superfund

McGregor, Deborah. 2006. “Traditional Ecological Knowledge”. Ideas: the Arts and Science Review, vol. 3, no. 1 http://www.silvafor.org/assets/silva/PDF/DebMcGregor.pdf

Berkes, Fikret. 1999. Chapter 1: Context of Traditional Ecological Knowledge, pp. 1-16 in Sacred Ecology: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Natural Resource Management. Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis.

Scott, Colin. 2011 [1989]. “Science for the West, Myth for the Rest? The Case of James Bay Cree Knowledge Construction.” Pp. 175-197 in The Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies Reader edited by Sandra Harding. Durham: Duke University Press.

Week 13: Wrap up

13.  December 2: wrap up

Braiding Sweetgrass, Chapter 5, “Burning Sweetgrass” (pp.341-379) update: the page numbers don’t correspond in all versions of the book so I’ll start listing sections instead: People of the Corn, People of the Light, Collateral Damage, Shkitagen: People of the Seventh Fire, Defeating Windigo

Braiding Sweetgrass, Epilogue: Returning the Gift (pp.380-385)

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: If you have enjoyed the course, you are welcome to make your own version of the final course assignment, which is a portfolio about Indigenous environmental issues of your own choosing. When you post it to the platform of your choice, feel free to share it on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram with the hashtag #INDG2015 so that others can learn from your work!

Why not finish the course by listening to or reading this beautiful CBC Tapestry interview with Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer? https://www.cbc.ca/radio/tapestry/why-is-the-world-so-beautiful-an-indigenous-botanist-on-the-spirit-of-life-in-everything-1.5817787