Fresh banana leaves Healing indigenous landscapes through indigenous science

Jessica Hernandez, 1990-

Book - 2022

"An Indigenous environmental scientist breaks down why western conservationism isn't working--and offers Indigenous models informed by case studies, personal stories, and family histories that center the voices of Latin American women and land protectors. Despite the undeniable fact that Indigenous communities are among the most affected by climate devastation, Indigenous science is nowhere to be found in mainstream environmental policy or discourse. And while holistic land, water, and forest management practices born from millennia of Indigenous knowledge systems have much to teach all of us, Indigenous science has long been ignored, otherized, or perceived as "soft"-the product of a systematic, centuries-long campaign ...of racism, colonialism, extractive capitalism, and delegitimization. "--

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 304.2/Hernandez Checked In
Huichin, unceded Ohlone land aka Berkeley, California : North Atlantic Books [2022]
Main Author
Jessica Hernandez, 1990- (author)
Physical Description
260 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages [243]-256) and index.
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. Indigenous Teaching: Nature Protects You as Long as You Protect Nature
  • Chapter 2. Ecocolonialism of Indigenous Landscapes
  • Chapter 3. Birth of Western Conservation
  • Chapter 4. Indigenous Science: Indigenous Stewardship and Management of Lands
  • Chapter 5. Ecowars: Seeking Environmental Justice
  • Chapter 6. Tierra Madre: Indigenous Women and Ecofeminism
  • Chapter 7. Ancestral Foods: Cooking with Fresh Banana Leaves
  • Chapter 8. Indigenizing Conservation: Healing Indigenous Landscapes
  • Notes
  • Index
  • About the Author 261
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Environmental scientist and activist Hernandez, who is Zapotec and Maya Ch'orti', debuts with a passionate if jumbled look at the intersection of environmental justice, racism, and conservationism. She argues that "mostly white cisgender men" are managing Indigenous lands through systemic "ecocolonialism" that has harmed Indigenous peoples and led to environmental damage, and they've failed to acknowledge the "ecological grief" they've caused. Westerners, she writes, fall short on including Indigenous people in environmental dialogues and deny them the social and economic resources necessary to recover from "land theft, cultural loss, and genocide" and to prepare for the future effects of climate change. She argues vehemently against national parks ("Yellowstone not only marked the forced removal of Indigenous peoples, it also celebrated the genocide enacted against Indigenous peoples during these times") and such organizations as the Sierra Club ("Why is the face of conservation still white men?"), describes the racial and gender discrimination she faced as a student, gives short histories on Indigenous resistance movements in Central America, discusses women-led artisan collectives, and reveals her own family history. It's a moving lay of the land, but one prone to sidetracking without charting a way forward. The survey has potential, but it doesn't quite come together. (Jan.)

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