Full Moon Rising: Land justice and first light
The Race and Equity Discussion Group of the Switzer Network will host a two-part series focused on how conservation can meaningfully engage issues of justice, equity and inclusion. This first session, on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, will be a preparatory conversation with Peter Forbes, co-founder of First Light. The first session will be followed by a conversation later this spring with representatives from Wabanaki communities, including the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet and Micmac Nations in Maine. We request that fellows attend this first conversation regarding land justice and conservation as preparation for the second conversation.
This series will offer a look into what land justice means and how relearning, recentering and repairing offers conservation a unique opportunity to grow and find its true promise. We'll look at the work of First Light, an ambitious effort between 50 organizations in Maine and the Wabanaki people to increase their presence and sovereignty on the land. We will explore what's at stake and what is to be gained through these efforts to engage differently and to share perspective and power. We will then take time to reflect together, and determine what specific focus the discussion should take with our Wabanaki guests at the next session.
Suggested advance learning materials:
- This Land Is Whose Land? Indian Country and the Shortcomings of Settler Protest, by Mali Obomsawin (online article, 15 minutes).
- The Danger of Social and Political Symbolism in the Advancement of Indigenous Rights, by Sherri Mitchell. In this article, Mitchell draws an important distinction between symbolic acts and structural change and refocuses us on protecting Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination, and land and water rights (online article, 20 minutes).
- Full Moon Rising, by Peter Forbes. A call to the conservation movement to center Indigenous voice (online essay, 30 minutes).
- Essential Lessons, by Peter Forbes. Reflections on the essential lessons Peter has learned from collaborating and building relationships with Wabanaki people through First Light Learning Journey (online essay, 15 minutes).
Please note, this event is open to Switzer Fellows only. We urge Switzer Fellows who have interested colleagues to share the readings and links above.
Register here, by March 26, 2021.
Peter Forbes is the author of Full Moon Rising: Centering Indigenous Voice for the Regeneration of Conservation. Peter's life work is about courageous convening of people across differences of race, class and ideology to resolve matters of consequence to their shared future. Peter works directly with communities and organizations who aspire to evolve, become more inclusive and equitable, and he leads long work collaborations to achieve land justice in different regions of the United States. He is a co-founder of First Light. For more information, see www.peterforbes.org.