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Seedy Talks with Noah Schlager

Seedy Talks with Noah Schlager: 110 Days, 100 Degrees Fahrenheit


1 p.m.: Presentation
1:45 p.m.: Q&A
2 p.m.: Discussion


About the talk

Flowing springs of the Colorado Plateau have sustained the Native peoples of Arizona where they have lived for thousands of years. In the last 50 years, the coal industry in Arizona pumped billions of gallons of water from the aquifer that supplies drinking water for the Hopi and Navajo Nations. Similarly, the Tohono O’odham and Yaqui Nations in Southern Arizona are struggling with declining groundwater levels.

In conjunction with industrial activities, the climate crisis is escalating in Arizona where summer 2020 had 110 days of at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit, threatening the Native peoples’ lifestyles, farmland and sacred seeds throughout the state.

In the fifth installment of Seedy Talks, a speaker series organized by service assistant professor Mehmet Öztan, Noah Schlager of Native Seeds/Search will talk about his work on integrating seed conservation efforts on the lands of Tohono O’odham and Yaqui with the support and development of Native American farmers and their communities in Arizona through a perspective of environmental justice.

About the speaker

Noah SchlagerNoah Schlager is a Mvskoke-Creek, Florida Catawba/Cheraw, Jewish and Euro-American descendant. His maternal grandmother taught him how to garden, forage and cook foods that have been in his family since his childhood. Out of the passion she and other elders have planted in him, he works to support Indigenous communities’ foodways and relationships to the land.

Schlager received a Master of Environmental Science degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His work involved the Indigenous co-management and its engagement with settler-colonial governance systems at the Bears Ears National Monument. He has worked on deconstructing the colonial legacies which have historically excluded Indigenous people from participating in western conservation and on creating space for Indigenous people to have the agency and discretion to practice and share (or not share) Indigenous knowledge around caring for plants and the land.

Schlager is currently the conservation program manager of the Native Seeds/Search, a nonprofit organization in Tucson, Arizona, dedicated to conservation of the drought-adapted crop diversity of the Southwest in support of sustainable farming and food security.