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National Museum of the American Indian Celebrates Earth Day With Online Festival

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The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian is marking Earth Day through its annual Living Earth Festival, which will be held virtually this year.

Starting on April 22, Earth Day, dedicated to raising awareness for protecting and sustaining the environment, the four-day festival features film screenings, cooking demonstrations, and conversations that will explore agriculture trends, innovations and sustainability in Indigenous communities and Native-owned businesses.

The event promises to “bring together Native innovators and practitioners dedicated to using Indigenous knowledge to protect and sustain the environment.”

You can stream all the events at https://americanindian.si.edu/online-programs.

The full schedule of the Living Earth Festival is as follows:

Youth in Action: Sustainable Agriculture

April 22–25; on demand

This panel discussion brings together young Indigenous leaders to address the role that traditional ecological knowledge plays in their work as farmers and entrepreneurs. With the onset of COVID-19 and the ever-pressing issues of climate change, investing in sustainable agriculture and food production is more important than ever. Moderated by Michaela Pavlat (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians). Panelists include Kelsey Ducheneaux-Scott (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe), Jack Pashano (Hopi) and Marco Ovando (Shoshone-Paiute Tribe).

Cooking Demonstration

April 22–25; on demand

Mariah Gladstone (Blackfeet/Cherokee Nation), founder of Indigikitchen, an online cooking platform, will explore traditional Indigenous foods and show how to incorporate them into people’s everyday lives.

Building an Agriculture Business in Indian Country

April 22–25; on demand

Experts address a crucial issue—creating innovative, robust and ecologically sound food systems and agricultural businesses in Indigenous communities. Speakers include Dawn Sherman (Lakota/Lenape/Shawnee), CEO of Native American Natural Foods; Mark N. Fox, chairman, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation; and Leonard Forsman, chairman, Suquamish Tribe. Moderated by Carmen Davis (Makah/Chippewa Cree/Yakama), editor of Native Business magazine.

Film Screenings

April 22–25; on demand

Gather

(USA, 2020, 74 min.)
Director: Sanjay Rawal
Producer: Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Creek)
Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide.

Voices from the Barrens: Native People, Blueberries and Sovereignty

(USA, 2020, 56 min.)
Director: Nancy Ghertner
Canadian Director: Brian J. Francis (Mi’kmaq)
This film documents the wild blueberry harvest of the Wabanaki, who live in the United States and Canada.

Crow Country: The Right to Food Sovereignty

(USA, 2020, 21 min.)
Director: Tsanavi Spoonhunter (Northern Arapaho/Northern Paiute)
Crow Country follows several tribal members who are fighting for better food and a better future for their community.

One Word Sawalmem

(USA, 2019, 18 min.)
Director: Natasha Deganello Giraudie
Co-director: Michael “Pom” Preston (Winnemem Wintu)
A rare look into the life of Native wisdom keepers, men and women respected within Indigenous communities for their intimate knowledge about living in balance with the natural world.

Guardianes de semilla (Guardians of the Seeds)

(Colombia, 2020, 8 min.)
Director: Mauricio Telpiz
Four Pastos community members known as guardians of the ancestral seeds showcase traditional rituals.

For more details, click here.

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