British Academy Global Professorship Summative Event: ‘Water Futures: Historical Perspectives from Indigenous Ecological Knowledge’ – SYMPOSIUM

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Date / time: 12 July, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Ashmolean Museum

British Academy Global Professorship Summative Event: 'Water Futures: Historical Perspectives from Indigenous Ecological Knowledge' - SYMPOSIUM


About the Symposium

British Academy Global Professor Gregory D. Smithers hosts an end-of-project in person symposium on July 12, 2024, at the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, entitled ‘Water Futures: Historical Perspectives from Indigenous Ecological Knowledge’.

This symposium will bring together scholars at different career stages from around the world to consider water futures through the lens of Indigenous Ecological Knowledge. The participating scholars are a mix of Indigenous and non-Indigenous academics whose work includes methodologies ranging from legal analysis, ethnohistory, oral history, and social and cultural history. Their papers will consider the future of water in a number of critically important, ecologically sensitive locations across North America. These include the Colorado River, the Lake Winnipeg Watershed, the Little Tennessee River Watershed in Southern Appalachia, the Artic, and Bristol Bay, Alaska. A subsequent journal special issue arising from the event will highlight the urgent need to reflect on local riparian wellbeing through the historically-informed wisdom of Indigenous custodians.


‘Incorporating Traditional Knowledges into Colorado River Management’, Heather Tanana (Diné), Visiting Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine

‘Indigenous legal principles and values as an opportunity for coordinated multi-jurisdictional and transboundary freshwater governance’, Aimée Craft (Anishinaabe/Métis), Associate Professor of Law, University of Ottawa

‘Chota’s Afterlives: The Life of a River & Memories of a Cherokee Mother Town’, Gregory D. Smithers, British Academy Global Professor, University of Hull & Professor of History, Virginia Commonwealth University

‘Canada’s Future Freshwater Wars’, Joy Porter, Professor of Indigenous & Environmental History, University of Hull

‘Just Water Futures: Indigenous Knowledge, Relationships and Governance in a Warmer, Wetter North’, Nicole J. Wilson, Assistant Professor, Canada Research Chair in Arctic Environmental Change and Governance, Department of Environment & Geography/Centre for Earth Observation Science, University of Manitoba

‘What’s Really Critical in the Race for Critical Minerals?’, Montgomery Simus, Ph.D. Researcher, University of Hull

For more information, please visit the Treated Spaces Research Group website:

To register your interest, please contact Rachel Dickens at Treatied Spaces:

Limited funded spaces are available for postgraduate researchers.

The event will be recorded and made available on the Treatied Spaces Research Group website following the event.