Disclaimer: The following information is provided by Humboldt State University’s Native American Studies Department (NAS) and Save California Salmon. Opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the positions of the NEC or its member organizations.
Water Protection Speakers Series To Focus on Native People Fighting For California’s Rivers and Food Systems
Humboldt State University’s Native American Studies Department (NAS) and Save California Salmon invites the public to engage in our Advocacy & Water Protection in Native California Summer Speakers Series & Certificate Program. This will be a free online web series starting on June 4th and continuing on every Friday at noon in June, July and August. The series will culminate with the virtual Advocacy & Water Protection in Native California Symposium on September 25th.
The speaker series will focus on issues such as the state of California’s salmon, culture, advocacy & environmental justice for Tribal communities, sustainable food systems, and direct action & allyship with Indigenous movements. Along with being available on Zoom, the series will be broadcast live on Humboldt State’s NAS Facebook pages and posted on Youtube for use by educators. Registered attendees will have the option of obtaining a Certificate in Advocacy & Water Protection.
Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy explained that this program is aimed at people interested in making a difference through education and direct action. “We are facing urgent environmental justice issues, we are navigating a pandemic, and we are seeing the importance of direct action and social movements in real time all over the news. This series brings together voices, resources, and stories to help build new visions of the future and inspire people to protect our waters, salmon, and communities.”
This web series is timely as currently many of California’s salmon species are facing extinction, and much of the state’s water supply is in danger of becoming unusable due to pollution, drought, and other issues. Organizers say the situation is getting worse due to droughts and proposals for new dams and diversions which threaten California’s rivers and water. Rural communities are consequently suffering due to lack of a reliable food supply and fishing jobs.
“Although much of our water supply comes from the rivers in Northern California’s Indian country, such as the Sacramento, Trinity, Klamath and Bay Delta, often impacted people are left out of water and fisheries decisions.” said Regina Chichizola from Save California Salmon. “This is despite the health, cultural and food security issues that Native communities are facing due to lack of salmon and clean water. Before the COVID-19 crisis we were supporting the efforts of Tribal communities and youth to force the state and federal governments and NGOs to include our communities in water decisions and conversations. Since COVID North state communities have gone back to being left out of the decisions that impact our water.”
Chichizola went on to say many people do not know that Native communities, other people of color, and youth are organizing the movements to restore California’s rivers and decentralize its food and water supplies. “It is important for non-native people, environmental groups, and governments to educate themselves and make sure native people are included in environmental decision making, along with education and funding conversations and decisions in California.”
Humboldt State University’s Native American Studies department and Save California Salmon encourage anyone that is interested in water, food, education, and/or cultural and racial justice issues in California to attend this web series.
Web Series Schedule:
June: The State of California Salmon
- 6/5: CORE Course – Water Policy, Law, and Tribal Sovereignty in Native California
- 6/12: State of the Salmon and Water Wars on the Klamath River
- 6/19: From the Trump Water Plan to the Shasta Dam Raise: The Fight for Sacramento River/Bay Delta Salmon
- 6/26: Bringing Salmon Home: Eel River Dam Removal
July: Culture, Advocacy & Environmental Justice for Tribal Communities
- 7/3: CORE Course – Grassroots Advocacy & Indigenous Environmental Justice
- 7/10: Arts as Activism: Protecting Land, Water & Life
- 7/17: Cultural Revitalization on the Water: Canoe Traditions in the Pacific Northwest
- 7/24: The River Feeds Us: Food Sovereignty & Community Resilience
- 7/31: Salmon and Acorns Feed Our People: Connections Between Health & Environmental Justice
August: Direct Action & Allyship with Indigenous Movements
- 8/7: CORE Course – From Fish Wars to Fish Kill
- 8/14: Community Organizing & Creating a Campaign
- 8/21: Telling Your Story: Outreach and Media
- 8/28: Youth Water Advocacy & Education
More information can be found at: https://www.californiasalmon.