95th ESA Annual Meeting (August 1 -- 6, 2010)

SS 7 - Sense of Place:  From Local to Global Stewardship

Monday, August 2, 2010: 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
401-402, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Mimi E. Lam
The original inhabitants of Pennsylvania included the tribes of the Erie, Iroquois, Lenape, Munsee, Shawnee, and Susquehannock. Today, no federally recognized tribes exist in Pennsylvania, as eastern tribes were displaced by colonial expansion in the 1700s. These tribes are not extinct, but most descendants of Pennsylvania Indians have assimilated into white society or live on Indian reservations in Oklahoma or New York. The Seneca Nation, for instance, is resident upstream from Pittsburgh in New York. The experience of Pennsylvania Indians, distinct from the thriving Pueblo indigenous communities of New Mexico, the site of last year’s ESA Annual Meeting, highlights the fragility of sense of place. An intimate, sustained connection to local landscapes is imperative to fostering local stewardship, but what response is adaptive if exogenous factors disrupt the places we know? What conditions allow sense of place to persist? What sustaining role does traditional ecological knowledge play? Our relationships with our natural history, social communities, and cultural traditions orient our cognitions and behaviors. By influencing our belief systems and values, they affect our sense of identity and place. Place attachments, essential to preserving local stewardship, are impaired by modern technology and mobility. What lessons can be learned from resilient indigenous communities? How can we scale up our place-based values to achieve a shared identity and purpose among global society? Here, members of diverse local communities in Pittsburgh will share their senses of place, to spark a dialogue on local and global stewardship and what that means to each of us.
See more of: Special Session