Environmental Scientist Jessica Hernandez
Jessica Hernandez found her way to conservation science and environmental justice through her grandmother — and her knowledge about the natural world, accumulated over generations.
Maria de Jesus, a member of southern Mexico’s Zapotec community, showed her granddaughter how to tend the family milpa, the plot where they harvested beans, corn, squash, medicinal plants and even grasshoppers. She led Hernandez on hikes through the mountains surrounding her house, explaining how plants and animals interact in the local ecosystem. “She instilled in me the kinships that we carry on as Indigenous peoples,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez grew up in South Central Los Angeles, the daughter of Indigenous immigrants from Mexico. As a child, she frequently visited her mother’s native Oaxaca. “The community that we had that went beyond humans, to include the animals and the plants.” When Hernandez went to graduate school to study ecology, she thought the wisdom passed on from her ancestors would be seen as an asset. But to her surprise, she was humiliated for it.
“The professor asked me, ‘Is this Jessica’s theory? Where is your citation?” Hernandez recalls in Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes Through Indigenous Science, out this month.
Hernandez, 31, is an environmental scientist at the University of Washington and an outspoken critic of Western conservation movements, which she says often ignore or co-opts Indigenous science and sideline the communities who have produced that knowledge.
“We’re often seen as areas of expertise rather than experts ourselves,” she said. “We’re seen as research subjects rather than researchers.” In writing Fresh Banana Leaves, Hernandez said she hopes to bring attention to the ways Indigenous science has preserved ecosystems for generations.
Western science has always had a narrow lens, said a professor at the University of Washington and one of Hernandez’s PhD advisors. “What [Hernandez] has always been able to do is look past that.”
The scientific method may be built on data points, but Indigenous knowledge is also built on observations. It’s just packaged differently — not in academic papers, but in stories. “People are drowning in the data,” said the PhD advisor, but that data doesn’t always translate to practical solutions.
The conservation movement has a long history of sidelining Indigenous peoples and discounting their ecological expertise. When the United States established its national parks system, ultimately setting aside some 85 million acres of territory, it forced Native American tribes from lands they’d stewarded for millennia.
Park monuments still bear the names of men who advocated for the genocide of Indigenous peoples or carried out massacres themselves. Native groups are advocating for the monuments’ removal.
Instead of honoring those responsible for genocide, Hernandez said she’d like to see monuments to those who preserved the lands for millennia. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that Indigenous peoples are the most effective stewards of the Earth. Though they make up just 5 percent of the global population, they protect some 80 percent of its biodiversity, according to the World Bank, and biodiversity on Indigenous-managed lands often exceeds that of protected areas. Indigenous peoples with titles to their land tend to have the most success at preserving lands, research has found.
Western researchers and companies also have a long history of co-opting Indigenous discoveries — like traditional medicines. Some scholars estimate the market value of pharmaceuticals derived from Indigenous medicine to be in the tens of billions.
Permaculture is another field that borrows heavily from Indigenous practices, Hernandez said.
Hernandez wants to see environmental organizations, governments and the descendants of settlers reckon with their anti-Indigenous histories and elevate Indigenous voices. “It’s like peeling onions. There are so many layers that we have to undo,” Hernandez said. “The first layer is the history that has been silenced or hidden for so many years.”
For her part, Hernandez is using her credentials — and her large social media following — to bring Indigenous science and voices into academia. “I look at the knowledge that my parents and grandparents held, and I always say they know more about the environment than any professor I have ever had in my career. Indigenous peoples don’t necessarily need a bachelor or a doctoral degree for their knowledge to be valid.”
Last fall, Hernandez taught an Introduction to Climate Change course that included lessons on Indigenous land stewardship and discussions on the ways that Indigenous women are impacted by climate change.
She hopes she can bring a new generation of Indigenous thinkers into the conservation field — while reminding students to look beyond the ivory tower for climate solutions.
I CANT BELIEVE THAT THE #ShutUpGringo2022 IS NOT TENDENCY HERE.
But at the same time im not surprised since this is a mostly gringo social media
SO HERES MY APPORT
First of all: Context.
Well, we all know the movie Encanto, I, personally, didn't see it but I know enough to love it, it does represent Colombian and Latino culture as well. Even in the smallest details yk. That why a lot of latinos are very happy with this movie, bc, you see, when the only representation you get is ridiculized parts of something as important as your culture, a movie like encanto is... Well, a charm.
You see, Latinoamérica is a big ass continent, with lot of history and culture. We have every bit of variety. Latam is builded in what a lot of natives created. A lot of countries respet and hold their cultures onto their natives. Even the ones where they are repressed, and trashed, their presence still strong, our roots and traditions will always go back to them. Then we have the African presence, Latam was the most big port of Enslaved Africans of the world, African culture has its presence on its own too. (Brasil is the country with most police brutality against black people on the world. But none of you will ever know that bc nobody cares about a third world country) European culture too, because of a lot of immigration, as well as Asian culture.
And YES a lot of us come from the pain of our ancestors. From the rape of colonizers, from the pain of immigration and starvation and shame, from the genocides and death.
But we carry that with us. With pride, bc we're here because of their strength. Latam is such a varied place, thanks to all of them. We have a bit of everywhere. And that's something to be PROUD.
We all are from different colours, we all have different traits, different ways of manifesting our beliefs, and tbh. Nobody could give more of a shit of that than us.
Ooh but there's somebody. And that's all the assholes who think they can talk for us. Offend themselves for us.
Listen: We do not care if someone drew a character of Encanto a light more white than it is. All our countries are headed to ruin WHY WE WOULD CARE.
Is not such a problem to us, so WHY do yall get offended anyways??
Yall not only want to apropiate our culture and traditions but our problems too?
And then get MAD bc we tell you to shut up?????
Look. Encanto is OURS. It represents our shared pain, our generational trauma and also the comfort of our family and home. Yall dont get to decide whether you hate a character or not, because yall don't understand that character like we do.
We cannot have NOTHING i swear. Bc you made a problem of it.
And its not the first time either.
Yall canceled a mexican rat bc it didn't fulfill your own image of a Mexican. While mexican little kids where DELIGHTED to see a part of themselves on tv.
I mean. Yeah, a lot of those characters are based on the most "prominents" aspects of our culture. That doesn't mean its bad???
In the Latinoamerican Spanish version of Sing there's an Argentinian rat. Who is greedy, annoying and sings Tango. AND I LOVE IT. And i know I'm not the only one bc... WHEN do I see anything that represents Argentina that doesn't have to do with our horrible economic crisis? And its A RAT WHO SINGS TANGO AND PLAY THE SAXOPHONE. UN TIPAZO.
What I want to say with this is; Yall dont get to say a WORD about us. You live in a first world country. With a privilege you can't deny even if you wanted.
Istg yall have this problem where you can't get your noses off of other minorities bussines.
And the worst of this is that you get to be the victim??
And calls us racist bc we discriminate your PRIVILEGE
Quick history lesson:
When USA was in war against Mexico, the soldiers, who wore green, used to be everywhere, and some Mexicans used to tell them to get out, on a hardly pronounced english "Green, go" Which derivated to "Gringo"
Gringo is not a Slur.
Is our way to kick you all out. Yeah, some people use the term affectionately, while others used it as a way to rechaze the term "american" As if having it on your country name where enough reason to call yourself after a whole continent. And take us with you when others continents mock you.
Gringo can't be a slur. Gringo is part of our history, is part of the damage yall have done to us. Endlessly.
Victimize yourself if you must. Forget all the shit your centric county has trow to all of us. But we wont forget.
Yall can hide on your social justice hashtags all you want. We know the kind of shit you are.
On a lighter note: Isn't beautiful and a bit funny the fact we are ALWAYS fighting for something; Territory, culture, food, war, inmigration, politics, traditions. That Arepa is Venezuelan, not colombia, that Messi is better than Pele, than Gardel is Paraguayan not Argentinian (mentira) that September is Chile's not mexico's, that Bolivia and its sea.
But we unite only to support each others on our emergencies and to fight Gringos. Is beautiful, really. Lets never change.
Latinos unidos jamás serán vencidos 🤝
Seaview Terrace, Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Seattle - Washington - USA (by Bryce Edwards)
Cannibalism is good actually. I think we should get into that
Chloé Zhao. 2020
Sheep Mountain Overlook
Sheep Mountain Rd, Scenic, SD 57780, USA
See in map
See in imdb
Wadsworth Hall, Lake Genova, Wisconsin, United States,
Built in 1906 for noted banker and philanthropist Norman Wait Harris — also known as N.W. Harris — who was the namesake of the predecessor firm to Harris Bank.
N.W. Harris named it Wadsworth Hall after his mother’s family. The mansion’s architect was the Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge firm, which among other structures designed the Cantigny mansion west of Wheaton for onetime Tribune co-owner Joseph Medill.
Glanworth Gardens has an original landscape plan by Frederick Law Olmsted.
Seattle - Washington - USA (by Tiffany Von Arnim)
USA Cultural Regions Map
People make fun of 9/11 now not because 3000 people dying in a terrorist attack is funny, but because the utter fucking self-righteousness and sentimentality with which Americans treat it and have used it endlessly to justify mass violence and misery on a scale that dwarfs 9/11 ever since makes its anniversary worthy of derision.
big fuck you to every single person who said we were overreacting in 2016.
“I’m gonna pat myself on the back
'Cause I did the bare minimum
Where the fuck is my medal?
Tweetin' from my brand new condominium
Yeah, we did it
It's all getting better now, is it?
I'm gonna get away with it
I'm gonna be a winner
I'm gonna get away-
'Cause the rich get richer and the sick get sicker”
Osage Nation, the American Indian tribe whose ancestral domain included much of Oklahoma, said in a statement that the sale was “truly heartbreaking”.
“Our ancestors lived in this area for 1,300 years,” the statement read. “This was our land. We have hundreds of thousands of our ancestors buried throughout Missouri and Illinois, including Picture Cave.”
The bidder, who sought anonymity, bought the Picture Cave along with 43 acres of hilly property surrounding it near the town of Warrenton in Missouri, said Bryan Laughlin, the director of Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers.
Carol Diaz-Granados and her husband James Duncan, who spent 20 years researching the cave and wrote a book about it, also opposed the auction.
“Auctioning off a sacred American Indian site truly sends the wrong message,” Ms Diaz-Granados, a research associate at Washington University in St Louis said. “It’s like auctioning off the Sistine Chapel.”
if this was Hobby Lobby, the Mormon church, or some weird libertarian ghoul treating this like the newest addition to their private collection, there should be fucking bodies
how exactly do you auction off priceless cultural heritage and it just ends up going to some random guy
who actually benefits from this