Northwestern Events Calendar


Capacious and Well-traveled Vessels: Native Canoe and Water/Sky Knowledge Revitalization for Indigenous Resurgence, Environmental Justice, and Sustainable Futures inside and outside Academia.

When: Thursday, October 21, 2021
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM CT

Where: Kresge Hall, 1515, 1880 Campus Drive , Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Pamala Silas   (847) 467-6208

Group: Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR)

Category: Multicultural & Diversity


Talk by Vicente M. Diaz
Director, The Native Canoe Program
University of Minnesota- Twin Cities

Elegant and beautiful in design as they are practical and effective in utility, traditional Indigenous watercraft of all ‘makes and models’ are brilliant, in their science and engineering, even as they embody some of the most vital cultural and spiritual dimensions of their makers and users. Not surprisingly, the resuscitation of Indigenous water craft -- and closely associated traditional knowledge systems about water, sky, earth, and peoplehood – have also become key sites for language revitalization, individual and community health and wellbeing, environmental justice, and other vital components of political resurgence and nation-building for Indigenous peoples in North America and around the world. For such carrying capacity -- and for the amount of 'ground' they are able to cover -- the revival of canoes and associated knowledge systems also have much to teach researchers in and for the 21st century. This talk draws from decades of work in Indigenous canoe revitalization and traditional knowledge systems in Indian country and the Pacific islands region to illustrate the cultural, political, and analytic “stakes” – what’s won and what’s lost – in engaged learning and research around Native water craft and associated knowledge systems.

Vicente M. Diaz (Pohnpeian and Filipino from Guam) is the Director of the Native Canoe Program, Department of American Indian Studies, at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. An interdisciplinary scholar, Diaz is a leader in canoe culture survival and revitalization in Micronesia (the Central Carolines and the Marianas) in the development of a Native Pacific cultural studies movement, and in national and international efforts to build critical, comparative, and global Indigenous studies. He is the author of Repositioning the Missionary: Rewriting the Histories of Colonialism, Native Catholicism, and Indigeneity in Guam (University of Hawai’i Pacific Monograph Series, 2010), producer/director of Sacred Vessels: Navigating Tradition and Identity in Micronesia, (1997, 29 mins), co-author/historian of the Hale’ta / Our Roots history and civics textbooks, with the Guam Political Status Education Coordinating Commission, for Guam’s K-12 public school system, and many articles, chapters, and creative works in the fields of Pacific Islands studies and Native American and Indigenous studies.

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