Professionals and delegates representing over a dozen Native cultures from around the world met for a conference on \”Seeking Balance: Indigenous Knowledge, Western Science and Climate Change\”at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington D.C. early this October. Brain Clark Howard’s National Geographic article \"Indigenous People Sound the Alarm on Climate Change\" reflects on the insights indigenous people shared concerning the threat that the global climate change poses on Mother Earth. Howard also tackles the conflicts arising between merging Indigenous knowledge and Western science. Delegate Alejandro Argumendo, a Quechuan agronomist from Peru, concludes, “Bridges with Western science are necessary but must be done with awareness of indigenous knowledge.”
Josefina Lema Aguilar, a Kichwa elder from the mountains of Ecuador, announces to the audience, “It’s the custom of all indigenous peoples to give thanks to Mother Earth, Mother Air, Mother Water and Father Sun for giving us life and having us part of their family.”
It is important to listen to the voices of indigenous people because they have an intimate connection with Mother Earth and their livelihoods are directly affected by climate change.
To learn more about the Conversations With the Earth exhibit at NMAI visit CWE Exhibitions Smithsonian.