"Melting Glaciers and Emerging Histories in America's Far Northwest"Dr. Julie Cruikshank
Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia
Date: Tuesday, April 22nd
Time: 3:30 - 5:00 pm
Location: Lowder 125A
Memories of the Little Ice Age in northwestern North America (roughly 1550-1900 A.D.) remain vivid in oral histories transmitted in indigenous communities near the Alaska-Yukon border. During the 18th and 19th centuries, enlarged glaciers in the Saint Elias Range provided travel routes for Aboriginal traders crossing from the Gulf of Alaska coast to the interior Yukon Plateau. In the 20th century, both Canada and the United States designated National Parks in this glaciated region, displacing indigenous residents from these territories; those parks are now encompassed within a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Melting glaciers are now revealing material evidence that reinvigorates longstanding oral traditions about human history and environmental change, posing new questions for cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaborations. The paper will discuss how recent discoveries and collaborations among Aboriginal peoples and scientists reinvigorate discourses surrounding science and politics, concepts of 'nature' and 'culture,' and how local knowledge is co-produced in such encounters.
The lecture is co-sponsored by the Human Odyssey program, the AU Sustainability Initiative, the Women's Studies program and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE).