KU News 11/7: Tribal attorney Tara Houska to speak in collaborative series on climate justice

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Contact: Emily Ryan, The Commons, 785-864-6293, [email protected], @TheCommonsKU
Tribal attorney Tara Houska to speak in collaborative series on climate justice

LAWRENCE – The collaborative virtual series inspired by contributors to the book “All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis,” edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine Wilkinson, returns in fall 2022. At 3 p.m. Nov. 17, environmental and Indigenous rights advocate Tara Houska will be in conversation with Lori Hasselman, University of Kansas assistant director of Native American initiatives.

The “All We Can Save” series centers climate justice and draws from knowledge across and beyond fields of academic research. Contributors to the book “All We Can Save” share wisdom from their own experiences and work to inspire collective agency around the urgency of climate change with recognition of the inequities of the consequences of climate change. This series highlights activists, scholars, thinkers, creatives and doers whose life work generates and speaks to ideas for action, survival and nourishment.

“Tara’s work is so important to the process of reclaiming our lands and culture, especially highlighting work rooted in Indigenous women and two-spirit led advocacy. We are excited to host such a fierce Couchiching woman to inspire our students and community to engage more deeply in academics and advocacy in support of our tribes,” Hasselman said.

Tara Houska, a citizen of the Couchiching First Nation, tribal attorney and land defender, has been critical of the new Inflation Reduction Act and its oversight of Native perspectives in developing climate policy, observing that it cedes too much power to oil companies with further investment in fossil fuels in order to eventually access renewable energy.

The editors of the “All We Can Save” observe that climate change is presented in terms of Western science but that the work of responding to the urgency of climate change requires a range of expertise. Global social movements and grassroots activism, cultural and creative practices, religious and spiritual engagement, and traditional knowledge all play critical roles in this larger conversation about the effects of climate change.

This series, which launched in 2021, previously welcomed author Leah Penniman and artist Favianna Rodriguez. The series is led by The Commons, with support from the Office of Native American Initiatives; the Toni Johnson Center for Racial and Social Justice; the School of Social Welfare; the Environmental Studies Program; the Indigenous Studies Program; the KU departments of African & African-American Studies, English, Geography & Atmospheric Science and Geology; the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity; the Office of Multicultural Affairs; and the University Honors Program.

All events are free and open to the public. The Zoom registration is https://bit.ly/HouskaKU.



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Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, director of news and media relations, [email protected]

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