Nicholas Rajen

Nicholas Rajen, Healing the Earth; Decolonizing Ecology Conference. [email protected]

Date grant awarded: 3/2/2017

The University of California, Riverside’s student chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society is hosting the first annual “Healing the Earth” conference; specifically on the subject of “Decolonizing Ecology.” AISES has been recently chartered by the efforts of Nicholas Rajen, a first year PhD student in Materials Science and Engineering at UCR, and Native American Student Program members, including Joshua Gonzales and Beyaja Notah, program coordinator and assistant coordinator, respectively.

The conference seeks to provide an academic conference space for students, scholars, and community members to exchange ideas related to deconstructing and discussing science and ecology through the indigenous lens. The conference is to be held on April 22, 2017, at the University of California CHASS Interdisciplinary Building. The event will include: a keynote panel by the Native American Land Conservancy; workshops for undergraduates and high school students to define and clarify future academic and professional paths; an open forum to discuss the reclamation and future of Indigenous agriculture and ecological practices to strive for sustainable living; and poster presentations for students and scholars to share research and creative work pertaining to indigeneity and science.

An all Vegan meal will be served as part of the conference itinerary, and the Standing Rock documentary “Rise” will close out the program. We hope to contribute to the conversation about indigenous empowerment in the sciences put forth by the national AISES mission, in addition to broadening and refocusing the relationship between STEM and American Indian Society.