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Voices From Maple Nation:
Indigenous Women's Climate Summit

October 13-16, 2016

Native American women are driving forces in preserving cultural traditions while adapting to change. In northeastern North America, sacred teachings and ceremonies recognize women’s special role in sustaining communities and directing adaptation through balanced use of the land.

This role gives Native women distinct perspectives on climate change. Voices From Maple Nation lays a foundation for sharing Native women’s knowledge and wisdom about climate change and adaptation. Voices will bring together approximately 70 women from the northeastern United States and Canadian Maritime Provinces for four days to explore cultural knowledge of the land, water, air, and wildlife and the wisdom necessary to assure the survival of Native peoples and cultures in a changing climate. Together, we hope to co-create a statement or a declaration to share on behalf of Mother Earth and to envision together the path forward. The invitation-only gathering will take place October 13-16, 2016 at the Adirondack Ecological Center in Newcomb, NY. We are grateful for financial support from the US Forest Service and the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.


The following agenda is tentative and subject to change.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Time Activity Location
3:00 - 5:00 PM Arrival to the Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) for Check In, pick up packets and settle into lodgings Adirondack Interpretive Center
6:00 Welcome and Orientation and Dinner Rich Lake Dining Hall
7:00 Traditional Protocol: since we gather within the boundaries of Haudenosaunee territory we will begin with traditional welcoming protocol
Rich Lake Dining Hall
7:30 Introduction Circle: we will gather with our baskets in hand, to introduce ourselves by sharing brief reflections ( 2-3 minutes) on where we come from, our roles, what concerns and hopes we carry to this gathering

Review our mission: What do we hope to accomplish together this weekend?
Rich Lake Dining Hall
8:30 Campfire on the Lakeshore Rich Lake Beach

Friday, October 14, 2016

Time Activity Location
7:00 AM  Traditional Opening by Maxine Cole(optional) Rich Lake Beach
8:15 Breakfast Rich Lake Dining Hall

Opening Session: Farewell to Maples in AIS

Presentation framing our situation and goals

Adirondack Interpretive Center
10:00 WORK SESSION: Questions for the morning:
What are the changes we’re seeing related to climate change and environment in our respective communities? What are the threats to our communities posed by climate change? Are there also openings and opportunities that climate change creates? Please come with your thoughts to share in discussions, guided by facilitator Shelly Valdez of Native Pathways
Adirondack Interpretive Center
12:00 Lunch Rich Lake Dining Hall
1:00 Plant walk guided by participants or outdoor activity on your own Adirondack Interpretive Center
2:15 WORK SESSION: Questions for the afternoon:
What are our gifts and responsibilities as indigenous women  in the face of the climate change threats posed this morning? What are our Original Instructions?  What are our gifts as Native Women that we bring to this challenge? What do we love too much to lose?  What are our sources of inspiration and strength? How do we acknowledge and use these gifts on behalf of the world?
Adirondack Interpretive Center
6:00 Dinner Rich Lake Dining Hall
8:30 Evening gathering by the lake Rich Lake Beach

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Time Activity Location
7:00 AM Sunrise ceremony led by Barbara Wall  Rich Lake Beach
8:15 Breakfast Rich Lake Dining Hall
9:00 WORK SESSION on the questions:
What are we called upon to do in the face of climate change? How do we answer this challenge? What are our strategies? What can we do together and as individuals? How do we combine our gifts and responsibilities on behalf of Maple Nation and translate them into action? This is a time for participants to share the strategies that they are using related to climate change response currently.
Adirondack Interpretive Center
10:30 Coffee Break Adirondack Interpretive Center
10:45 Basket Making Activity: Abenaki basketmaker Judy Dow will lead us in making a basket that carries our climate change stories. Rich Lake Dining Hall
12:30 PM Lunch Rich Lake Dining Hall
1:00 Plant walk or outdoor activity Adirondack Interpretive Center
2:15 WORK SESSION on the questions:
What are our strategies for the future? What could we do together as a Maple Nation Network? Two possible work groups 1) create the “message” from this Maple Nation gathering. What do we want to say to the world? 2) What are the instructions /recommendations that we want to carry away with us in our baskets to be used as individuals, as families, as communities, as Nations? 3) an alternative expression of our message in art or music or action
Adirondack Interpretive Center
6:00 Dinner - Traditional Feast Rich Lake Dining Hall
7:30 Fire, talking circle, stories at the lake shore Rich Lake Beach

Writing Group: a small group of volunteers will try and synthesize the weekends thoughts and actions into a draft message to share in the morning to carry the words of our group into the world

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Time Activity Location
7:00 AM Sunrise Ceremony Rich Lake Beach
8:00 Breakfast - Traditional Foods Rich Lake Dining Hall
9:00 Working groups to polish the draft message(s) Adirondack Interpretive Center
10:15 Share messages we have jointly created Adirondack Interpretive Center
11:00 Talking Circle, What do I carry away in my basket today on behalf of land and people? Adirondack Interpretive Center
12:00 PM Closing Ceremony Adirondack Interpretive Center
12:30 Lunch for the road Adirondack Interpretive Center
12:30 Depart  

Directions and Maps

Newcomb Campus
5922 State Route 28N
Newcomb, NY 12852