VPR Distinguished Lecture to Highlight the Impact of Climate Change on Indigenous Peoples and Religion – WSU Insider

The Office of Research will host the Vice President for Research Spring Lecture Series with a talk by Rosalyn LaPier, associate professor of environmental studies at the University of Montana and research associate at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.

The lecture titled, “Earth as Sacred Text: How Climate Change Will Impact Indigenous Spirituality,” will be held at 3 p.m. on Monday, April 18, in the Biotechnology/Life Sciences Building, Room 401 on the WSU Pullman Campus. . The conference will also be broadcast live via Zoom. A reception will take place before the conference at 2:30 p.m.

RSVP to the Office of Research website by Monday, April 11.

For most Indigenous peoples, changes in the natural world affect their ability to practice their religious beliefs. Indeed, indigenous peoples depend on the land and landscape, its seasonal cycles of weather, plants and animals as part of their liturgical or religious calendar. Over the past 150 years, colonizing societies such as the United States have suppressed and marginalized Indigenous religious practices. LaPier’s lecture will focus on how climate change creates another challenge for Indigenous peoples and their ability to practice their religion.

LaPier, a registered member of the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana and Métis, is an award-winning Indigenous writer, ethnobotanist, and environmental activist. In addition to traditional training in ethnobotany, she also learned ethnobotany and traditional ecological knowledge by apprenticeship with her maternal grandmother Annie Mad Plume Wall and aunt Theresa Still Smoking for over 20 years.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Physics and a Ph.D. in Environmental History. She works within Indigenous communities to revitalize indigenous and traditional ecological knowledge to respond to environmental justice and the climate crisis. She has written two award-winning books, two lexicons of the Blackfeet language, and dozens of articles and commentaries that have appeared in The Conversation, High Country News, The Montana Naturalist, and The Washington Post. She is currently working on her third book.

Prior to joining the University of Montana, LaPier worked at the Piegan Institute, a private nonprofit organization on the Blackfeet reservation that works to revitalize the Blackfeet language. She has raised over $4,000,000 for their programs. She also taught at NAES College, a private Native-controlled college.

The Vice President’s Distinguished Lecture Series for Research invites world-renowned experts to WSU to share ideas and spark conversations about research that addresses society’s greatest challenges. Guest speakers are leaders in their fields. This distinguished VP Research Lecture is sponsored by the Office of Research. RSVP is encouraged.

For questions, contact Geeta Dutta by email at [email protected] or by phone at (509) 335-5980.

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