ORIGINS Writers: Kyle Whyte & Jay Griffiths

Thursday, June 10, 2021 Start time: 6:31 pm


Venue: Online

In this ORIGINS WRITERS event Indigenous environmentalist Kyle Whyte (Potawatomi, US) and British environmental author Jay Griffiths will discuss the importance of Indigenous thinking and culture for the future of the Earth.

Kyle’s research addresses moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples, the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and science organizations, and problems of Indigenous justice in public and academic discussions of food sovereignty, environmental justice, and the anthropocene. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

Jay Griffiths' 2021 book Why Rebel is a collection of essays which draws off Indigenous models to support an agenda for radical ecological change. Her 2006 book Wild: An Elemental Journey explores the words and meanings which shape ideas of wildness, arguing that wildness is intrinsic to the health of the human spirit. The award-winning book was the result of long journeys among Indigenous cultures, including Amazonian shamans, Inuit and the freedom fighters of West Papua.

About the speakers:

Kyle Whyte is Professor of Environment and Sustainability and George Willis Pack Professor at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, serving as a faculty member in the environmental justice specialization. Previously, Kyle was Professor and Timnick Chair in the Department of Philosophy and Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. Kyle has partnered with numerous Tribes, First Nations and inter-Indigenous organizations in the Great Lakes region and beyond on climate change planning, education and policy. He is involved in a number of projects and organizations that advance Indigenous research methodologies, including the Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup, Sustainable Development Institute of the College of Menominee Nation, Tribal Climate Camp, and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga. He has served as an author on reports by the U.S. Global Change Research Program and is a former member of the U.S. Federal Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science and the Michigan Environmental Justice Work Group. Kyle's work has received the Bunyan Bryant Award for Academic Excellence from Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice and MSU's Distinguished Partnership and Engaged Scholarship awards, and grants from the National Science Foundation.

Jay Griffiths (UK) is an award-winning author or more than six critically acclaimed books and fierce advocate of nature’s remaining wild places. She has written for The Guardian, Orion Magazine, The Idler and contributed to The Observer, the Ecologist, the London Review of Books, the Utne Reader, Wild Earth and Dark Mountain. She has broadcast widely on BBC radio, including Start the Week and Woman’s Hour, and the World Service, and has several times been a guest on Phillip Adams’ Late Night Live in Australia. She has written for peer-reviewed academic publication and for the British Council.

Supported by Beyond the Spectacle. Chaired by Michael Walling (Festival Director).

ORIGINS WRITERS is a series of online literature events with leading First Nations writers and poets, launching the 2021-22 ORIGINS Festival.