ESF Outreach | SUNY-ESF
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Conversations on the Land: Indigenous and Scientific Principles for Sustainable Communities

ASPRS Sympsium

  • Date: Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8, 2008
  • Location: Alumni Lounge (Nifkin), Marshall Hall, SUNY-ESF
  • Hosted by: The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF)


Online Event Registration (printable instructions)

Registration for Professionals & Faculty to attend is $40. Students are FREE. AlthoughSTUDENT AND Haudenosaunee community members fees are complimentary, pre-registration is REQUIRED.

This conference is part of the State University of New York’s “Conversations in the Disciplines.”  "Conversations" funds intercampus conferences which bring together State University faculty and visiting scholars to examine new trends, review promising findings, and better acquaint them with professional developments in their fields and on other campuses. By such interchange, both the professional and personal growth of individuals and the programs of instruction and research at participating campuses are enhanced.

Central New York is at the geographic and historical confluence of two great intellectual traditions regarding the stewardship of the earth. The Haudenosaunee people hold the rich ecological knowledge of the original inhabitants of this landscape, which is referred to by scholars as traditional ecological knowledge or TEK. The Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force (HETF). has been actively researching criteria and implementation guidelines for environmental sustainability, based on the traditional philosophical principles of their cultural foundations, the Thanksgiving Address and the Great Law of Peace. Likewise, the Onondaga Nation has envisioned a strategy of ecological and cultural restoration for their ancestral territory. The Conversation we propose here provides a rare forum in which indigenous leaders of the region can share their perspectives with the academic community and potentially influence the future development of sustainability philosophy and practice. Universities in the region, particularly SUNY ESF embody the contributions of SEK, or scientific ecological knowledge. In 2007, ESF initiated the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment whose mission is to create programs that draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge in support of our shared goals of environmental sustainability. The Center will serve as host for Conversations on the Land. It is being organized through the Central NY Native American Studies Consortium.

The scholarly exchange will bring together academic scholars from a range of perspectives, as well as indigenous thinkers and leaders from throughout New York State, to think and work together about one of our most pressing concerns. The question of ecological sustainability, or how to obtain the resources required for human flourishing without damaging the ecological base on which all flourishing ultimately depends, is among the most significant issues of our time. Together we will explore how we might bring to bear, the power of two great intellectual traditions, for our shared concerns of environmental sustainability.

The Goals of the Conference:

  • Facilitate a scholarly exchange among academic and indigenous community scholars from a wide range of disciplines with a shared focus on engaging traditional and scientific ways of knowing in considering environmental sustainability.
  • To identify ways in which indigenous environmental principles and ecological sciences might be coupled to influence the search for solutions for environmental sustainability.
  • To discover how various disciplines address environmental stewardship and how, in the future they may individually and cooperatively advance the integration of traditional ecological knowledge and scientific knowledge.
  • To establish a statewide network of scholars and practitioners who would continue to extend the Conversation theme into the future through shared forums, curricular reform and collaborative research and public service.


Our Payment Policy

We welcome your participation at Outreach events.  Pre-registered, pre-paid registrants are asked to check in at the onsite registration desk to receive a name badge and any handouts. Effective May 2008, registration fees must be paid prior to admittance.

  • If you have pre-registered and have a balance due, please be prepared to make your payment at the onsite registration desk.  We will accept a personal or business check, payable to SUNY Research Foundation, or VISA or MasterCard (Sorry, no American Express).
  • Registrants using a Purchase Order or Voucher are asked to provide the PO/Voucher number as well as a credit card number.  If payment is not received within 30 days after the event, your credit card will be charged the appropriate fee.
  • If you have not pre-registered, please bring a completed registration form with your payment (check, VISA or Mastercard) to the onsite registration desk (blank registration forms will also be available at the registration desk for your convenience).

This program is sponsored by a SUNY Conversation in the Disciplines grant, ESF Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, Syracuse University, SUNY Native American Western Consortium and the Central New York Native American Consortium, SUNY Cortland, Lemoyne College, Syracuse CoE: Excellence in Environmental & Energy Systems Innovations