Presented by Gemara Gifford, M.S. in conjunction with FWCB Graduate/Faculty Seminar
Colorado State University, Ph.D. Student in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
Indigenous peoples protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity across forests, grasslands, marine ecosystems, and beyond, yet the mainstream environmental movement has only recently acknowledged this. As a result, practitioners and scholars from fish, wildlife, and natural resource fields are seeking to reckon with the elitism and racism of the conservation movement which are threats to the field’s relevance and effectiveness. The State of Colorado is an exemplar case for understanding how the colonized notion of Manifest Destiny prevails in fish, wildlife, and land conservation. Using a decolonial and multiracial feminist lens, Gemara addresses the current barriers and opportunities for fish and wildlife conservation to be more just and liberatory for Colorado’s Native leaders, elders, and concerned community members. Addressing the structural, political, and cultural challenges that remain in statewide fish and wildlife efforts is one way to heal from past harms. Another is to envision fish and wildlife conservation from the direction of over 48 Native Nations with long-held relationships to Colorado’s lands.
Watch Gemara’s presentation here!
(suggest skip to time 1:50 for the beginning of Gem’s presentation)