06 December 2016

Water Security on the World's Rivers for Indigenous People on the radio

This past Sunday I was a guest on Natalie Krivell's University of Miami show RadioActive to speak about my water security work with indigenous people on global rivers and spotlight Standing Rock.
Please listen to the podcast and think about some of the myriad important issues raised. We have indeed entered into an era of being impolite out of necessity.

On a personal note: the show was a great opportunity to speak about the science approach I have along with the critical social issues and human rights violations. The more I think about what is happening in my country and how our government is handling it's responsibility to the people governed - especially the people who were here before this colonial system dominated, the more I am convinced it is time to change and move on. Enough is enough in the words of my Indigenous Relatives. The frustrating incompetence of elected officials to monitor indigenous cultural engagements, environmental protections, and balance corporate interests with citizen safety has spiraled out of control.

That we've just elected a guy that represents corporate arrogance and white supremacy is equally frustrating. It is hard for me to sit comfortably in my space of being a scientist and simply objective when I see this injustice. And why should we? When we are in a privileged position to witness what is happening in an intimate way around the world, we also shoulder the burden of that responsibility. So often I meet scientists uneasy about making that step forward, to reveal what they find that is related to, but outside of their scientific research. We all need to step it up. I am doing what I can right now, but I know I need to do more.

I think of so many people I know hungry and thirsty for inclusion and empowerment in seemingly impossible hard power, soft power dynamics. I also think of the people I know who hide away in their bubble or in their room, taking substances to dull the pain, and convince themselves that being comfortable is what they deserve to be. They justify that while others suffer, they've experienced suffering and wear it as their badge of exception. Or that they are somehow superior - these people coincidentally have white skin. They are still privileged even in their broken and dysfunctional states and in that position can offer their power to those who need it most. How to convince those people to feel their guts, use their hearts, and step into this transition moment?

What will you do?

23 November 2016

Upcoming University Panel on the Stand at Standing Rock

Indigenous Water Protectors and the Dakota Access Pipeline Controversy: Implications for Protecting Global Water Security, People, and Environmental Resources
Panel Discussion

30 November, 7-9pm

Florida International University MMC (main campus) Building PG5 Room 153

Florida International University asked me to help organize a panel on the topic of the Stand at Standing Rock - Indigenous People's rights in America and US Government preference for the oil industry in claiming energy security priority over water security, food security, and human security. In a remarkably quick turnaround - three FIU groups came together to make this happen:
  • The Global Indigenous Forum
  • The GLobal Water Security Forum
  • Studies of Spirituality

For this panel Faith Spotted Eagle, an Elder from the Yankton Sioux Tribe and Treaty Council member, as well as member of the Brave Heart Society, an indigenous society for grandmothers to keep Dakota Tradition, will be our Keynote Speaker. She will be joined by Bob Billie, spiritual leader of the local Miccosukee Tribe, Sam Tommie environmental activist and filmmaker from the Seminole Tribe, Dennis Wiedman medical and environmental anthropologist who works with Indigenous Peoples in Florida and Oklahoma as well as Director of FIU's Global Indigenous Forum, Manuel Gomez lawyer working on the Chevron oil case in Ecuador with Indigenous People, and I will moderate and contribute as a water security geographer and river scientist working with Indigenous People on conflicts of modernity in the Nile, Mekong, and now the Missouri basins.

I hope you can join us for this discussion about one of the most pressing issues in America at this moment in time.

21 November 2016