Upcoming Student Webinars
Bring the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian to your classroom! Learn about the rich, complex, and dynamic histories and cultures of Indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere from anywhere with our new distance learning programs.
Ecological Knowledge in Pacific Coastal Communities
May 20, 2021
Available on demand from 12:01 AM–11:59 PM ET
No registration required
How can traditional knowledge inform responses to current environmental challenges? Join us in conversation with young Indigenous activists from across the Pacific who are using traditional ecological practices to combat threats to the ocean resources their communities have protected and thrived on for thousands of years.
Franceska De Oro is an Indigenous Chamoru and Micronesian youth environmental activist, Native rights advocate, and yoga teacher. She began her activism against militarization as a high school student when the Department of Defense released the draft environmental impact study for the relocation of 5,000 U.S. marines from Okinawa to Guam in 2010. Franceska has spent the last ten years learning from leaders in the local decolonization movement as well as in the Northern Mariana Islands. She volunteers with many environmental and political advocacy groups, such as Independent Guåhan and Prutehi Litekyan. In 2020, she also worked with Micronesia Climate Change Alliance to produce a five-part video series about food sovereignty in Guåhan, From Our Nana’s for Our Nenis, and is currently editing the second season about plastic waste. Franceska is also the designer and co-founder of Magaʻhåga Rising, an Indigenous Chamoru women’s empowerment brand that promotes wellness, creativity, and self-love through fashion, writing, and art. Eating in Indigenous ways has been her wellness journey’s main focus, along with connecting to the land, sea, and ancestors through movement and meditation. You can follow Franceska’s personal adventures on Instagram @youngbiha and see her work on www.magahaga.com and the Micronesia Climate Change Alliance YouTube channel.
Kammie Tavares is a Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian) geospatial analyst for the Coastal Geology Group at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where she earned a BS in global environmental science and an MS in geology and geophysics. It was on the beaches of Waiʻanae, her one hānau (birth sands, homeland), where her love and respect for the environment grew. Beaches are important to the lifestyle and identity of Kānaka Maoli and locals; however, they are threatened by beachfront development that has hardened the shoreline with seawalls. As a result, beaches are disappearing and the relationships to spaces are changing. In an effort to preserve sandy beaches and peoples’ relationships to places, Kammie works on updating the Hawaiʻi Shoreline Study to inform coastal managers on how beaches have changed and are projected to change in a future of rising sea levels.
ʻQátuw̓as (pronounced Gahtuwos) is proud of her North Pacific Coast Haíɫzaqv and Nuučaan̓uɫ existence that continues to ground her work with Indigenous language and cultural revitalization, as well as climate action advocacy. She holds a degree in environmental and Indigenous studies from the University of Victoria in British Columbia.
Currently, ʻQátuw̓as works for the Haíɫzaqv Climate Action Team as the community engagement coordinator to create a community-led clean energy plan. Her role is based on educating and engaging with the Haíɫzaqv community to ensure ownership of their collective climate action work—creating climate solutions for and by Haíɫzaqv people. She is also a full-time Haíɫzaqvḷa Immersion School student, actively working to reclaim one of her ancestral languages, and is humbled to speak with Indigenous relations from across the Pacific.
Born and raised on the east side of the island of Oʻahu, Gabbi Lee is a Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian) cultural interpreter at the National Museum of the American Indian. She helps develop and facilitate educational programs and strives to bring a thoughtful and nuanced perspective to interpreting Indigenous histories, arts, and cultures. Gabbi holds a BA in anthropology and linguistics from New York University and an MA in museum education from the George Washington University.
June 17, 2021
4 PM ET
How does identity influence activism? Many tribal nations have always recognized multiple genders and those who possess both male and female spirits. Native people who identify as more than one gender or possessing both spirits sometimes refer to themselves as Two Spirit. In celebration of Pride Month, hear from Indigenous youth working in the fields of education, health, cultural heritage, and the arts to amplify Two Spirit and Native LGBTQ+ voices and issues.