"Removing Dams, Restoring Homelands: Native American and Indigenous Studies Approaches to Dam Removal and River Restoration"
Addressing aging, colonial water infrastructure and restoring river systems is increasingly urgent in a context of climate change and multiscalar processes attempting truth and reconciliation. A de-colonial approach to river restoration recognizes the multifaceted eco-cultural violence of infrastructure projects that benefited a narrow segment of the population, with lasting impacts. This project centers Native American and Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Political Ecology approaches to dam removal and river restoration, foregrounding Indigenous epistemologies of rivers, recognizing multiple aspects (cultural as well as political) of tribal sovereignty in river restoration, and developing steps to de-colonizing water policy. Register for the Zoom here.
Dr. Beth Rose Middleton is an Assistant Professor of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis. Beth Rose is of Afro-Caribbean (Belizean, Jamaican, and Honduran) and Eastern European (Russian, Lithuanian) heritage, and was born and raised in rural northern California, specifically the Mokulumne watershed of the central Sierra Nevada foothills, Miwok country. Beth Rose’s research centers on Native environmental policy and Native activism for site protection using conservation tools. She is engaged in participatory action research on Maidu land rights history and contemporary land claims in northeastern California. Beth Rose applies theories from coloniality of power, indigeneity, community development, political ecology, participatory methodologies, and geography. She has received research support from the National Science Foundation, the UC Berkeley Center for Race and Gender, the UC Office of the President, and the Community Forestry and Environmental Research Partnerships program. Beth Rose’s ongoing and future research directions include California Native green entrepreneurship, using environmental statutes for cultural preservation, qualitative GIS mapping of Indian allotment lands, Afro-indigenous populations, the effects of hydropower development on Native lands, tribal resource conservation districts, and indigenizing natural resource policy and planning.