My notes from Roberta Conner’s presentation at the inaugural TEDx Portland presentation.

Roberta Conner
Director Tamastslikt Cultural Institute
  • The name my grandmother gave me when I was 13 references a time when the glaciers were melting, and the land was flooding. It’s an old name.
  • 100 years ago my grandmother was standing on the banks
  • take care of your body. 
  • bears eat berries, birds eat berries, you are not the only consumer of these berries.
  • all things must be in balance: man and woman, day and night, abundance and scarcity.
  • when things are out of balance, you can tell. there will be more scarcity for some. you can tell when there is too much testosterone or estrogen in a room.
  • we are laying to rest the elders who learned languages as children, as opposed to those who are learning it today in the classroom.
  • we humans don’t make the earth turn, or the moon shine. we are humble.
  • indigenous cultures who are trying to keep their cultures alive are trying to protect an enormous database of ecological information that can protect us.
  • we know things like where there are condor habitat, that scientists don’t know.
  • there is no world for wilderness in our language because all places are known. all places are some indigenous tribes home. 
  • culture and language teach us that we are not the most important thing. we are not in charge of the wildlife or animals.
  • the places with the lowest economic development have the greatest wildlife. the industrial revolution passed those places by. this is good. all things in balance.
  • indigenous names and languages help us maintain our store of knowledge. it is not meant to leave anyone out.
  • scientists and indigenous speakers need each other. 
  • living in a place for thousand and thousands are empirical and longitudinal. it’s not double blind, but we know what a place’s carrying capacity is. we know what happens when a place is overhunted or overpopulated.
  • we know that roads don’t belong in river bottoms. we know that garbage and pollution cannot accumulate.
  • live as though your ancestors thousands of years from now will live in your backyard.