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.
April 22–25, 2021
Available on demand daily from 12:01 AM–11:59 PM ET
In celebration of Earth Day, join young Indigenous activists to discuss the role traditional ecological knowledge plays in their work as young farmers and entrepreneurs. With the onset of COVID-19 and the pressing issues of climate change, investing in sustainable agriculture and food production is more important than ever. Native youth are offering innovative alternatives to these challenges and creating a future of farming that will feed generations to come. This program is part of the museum's Living Earth Festival, which features Native experts who work to create innovative, robust, and ecologically sound food systems and agriculture businesses.
This project is made possible through the generous support of the Native American Agricultural Fund.
Jack Pashano is Hopi and from the village of Walpi. His Hopi names are Lomawunu (Nice Straight Oak Tree) and Tsotsotima (Rabbit Hopping). Jack belongs to the Snake and Sand Clan and is the second eldest out of three siblings. He comes from a very culturally active family and was born and raised by his paternal grandparents. He has been farming for as long as he can remember. Jack deeply appreciates his Hopi culture and is one of the youngest Hopi youth in his community. He is known to teach others in his community about Hopi culture and strives to ensure Hopi cultural practices endure.
Kelsey Ducheneaux-Scott is a fourth-generation tribal rancher that calls the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation home. She's the owner of DX Beef, LLC, a direct-to-consumer regenerative beef operation. Kelsey is the Natural Resources Director for the Intertribal Agriculture Council, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes the use of Indian lands for the benefit of Indian peoples. Kelsey's passion lies in working directly with land managers and producers in promoting regenerative agricultural practices. Kelsey is excited to see how her work with producers can continue to enhance their connection to consumers in an effort to re-localize more resilient food systems.
Marco Ovando is from Nevada and a student at Boise State University. As an agricultural advocate, he believes we are preserving the planet for the next generations. Marco serves as State President for the Nevada FFA Association, with a membership of over 5,000 youth across the state. To him, being an Environmental Ambassador is to be a caretaker to the land. In his local tribe's community, he constantly addresses environmental concerns relating to the agricultural producers and water conservation. Marco takes part in helping to grow sagebrush and native grasses for the Bureau of Land Management through several greenhouse facilities located on the high school campus. Through this program, he is helping to preserve the ecosystem for those keystone species, which hold great relevance to the Shoshone-Paiute people.
Michaela Pavlat is a Cultural Interpreter at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. She graduated from Northern Michigan University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in drawing and painting and studied a wide range of art history. As a creative being, she uses her artwork to educate audiences about Native American culture and the misappropriation of Indigenous cultures. Her goal is to develop a museum in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to use artwork and local Native peoples' voices to educate others.
Ecological Knowledge in Pacific Coastal Communities
May 20, 2021
Available on demand from 12:01 AM–11:59 PM ET
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 Maga’håga 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 ‘Ōiwi (Native Hawaiian) geospatial analyst for the Coastal Geology Group at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa where she earned a BS in global environmental science and an MS in geology and geophysics. It was on the beaches of Wai‘anae, 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 Hawai‘i Shoreline Study to inform coastal managers on how beaches have changed and are projected to change in a future of rising sea levels.
’Qátuw̓as (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, ’Qátuw̓as 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 O‘ahu, Gabbi Lee is a Kanaka ‘Ōiwi (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.