Fourteenth Annual Southeast Indian Studies Conference
April 12-13, 2018
Museum of the Southeast American Indian
The purpose of the Southeast Indian Studies Conference is to provide a forum for discussion of the culture, history, art, health and contemporary issues of Native Americans in the Southeast. The conference serves as a critical venue for scholars, students and all persons interested in American Indian Studies in the region.
Ryan Eugene Emanuel is Associate Professor and University Faculty Scholar in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at NC State University. The title of his talk is Indigenous Peoples and the 21st Century Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for American Indians in the Southeast. Indigenous peoples have deep cultural connections to the natural world that are far more complex than western fantasies and stereotypes. These connections are strong, but they can be stressed by environmental planning and policies that do not fully appreciate or respect indigenous values, priorities, and cultures. Dr. Emanuel examines some of these environmental stress points, focusing on American Indians in the southeastern United States, where tribal communities and individuals face numerous environmental challenges ranging from proposed gas pipelines to climate change. Efforts to address these challenges are complicated by economic, policy, and other factors. Nevertheless, tribes and individuals continue to uphold cultural beliefs and connections to place despite long odds, highlighting the creativity and resilience of indigenous peoples living in a 21st century environment.
Dr. Emanuel is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe. Ryan leads a research team at NC State that focuses on water, natural ecosystems, and society. He partners with American Indian tribes and organizations in North Carolina on topics related to environmental science and policy. In 2017, he published a letter in the journal Science on flawed environmental justice analyses and their implications for indigenous peoples living along the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Ryan holds a PhD and MS in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia, and a BS in Geology from Duke University. He serves on the NC Commission of Indian Affairs’ Environmental Justice Committee and has received a national service award from the American Indian Science and Engineering Society for his work with American Indian high school, undergraduate, and graduate students.