1st North American Community Environmental Leadership Exchange (NACELE)
NACELE 2013 was a highly successful two-part event on the theme From Conflict to Collaboration in Indigenous Territories: Tribal Strategies for Resistance and Restoration. Held in the Capay Valley of California, 14-17 October 2013, the workshop convened 30 indigenous environmental leaders, including representatives of Eat Your Heritage, a Guamanian movement for cultural revitalisation through food sovereignty. Excursions to the Yocha Dehe Tribal Nation’s olive oil press and Cache Creek Conservancy complemented in-depth discussions on the workshop theme, considering issues of food sovereignty, conservation and governance. The workshop led into the Bioneers 2013 Conference where attendees actively carried case studies and results into a panel in the Indigeneity Programme.
In addition to knowledge sharing and cross-mentoring, participants reported feeling strongly supported and energised by the workshop, finding connections and allies in their work.
Indigenous academics received strong affirmation from practitioners and tribal government members for their work to indigenise the academy, while Indigenous governance officials and environmental practitioners and activists appreciated affirmation of their hard-fought gains and the fruits of connecting with one another to exchange expertise and technical and cultural knowledge. Younger participants heard how critical their energy, skills and ideas were to native communities, made mentoring and networking connections and received encouragement to continue their bridging work and activism in law, ecology, food sovereignty, media and the arts.