Chief Oren Lyons Speaks on Climate Change and Environmental Ethics at Northwest Indian College


Internationally known Indigenous and human rights activist and scholar, Oren Lyons, recently visited Northwest Indian College. On Wednesday evening, April 20th, Chief Lyons talked to approximately 140 people on the topic, “Indigenous Views on Climate Change: Business as Usual is Over.”  The next afternoon, following a luncheon with NWIC students and staff, he talked on the topic of “What is Native Environmental Ethics?” After his talk he was presented with a special NWIC 25th Anniversary blanket by the students.

Lyons, the official Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois or Six Nations) Confederacy, is perhaps the most beloved and iconic leader in Indian Country today.  He was instrumental in the American Indian civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s, and participated in the Unity Caravan, the Trail of broken Treaties, and numerous other demonstrations and protest activities.  Over the past 20 years Lyons’ role as an activist has moved to the international arena, working with indigenous people throughout the world.  Among his many achievements he is known for creating the Traditional Council of Elders, participating in the first World Conference on Racism, and serving on the Executive Committee of the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival.  Lyons is a Distinguished Service Professor at the State University of New York, and professor emeritus of American Indian Studies at the University of Buffalo.  He is a graduate of Syracuse University – where he was an All American on their undefeated national NCAA champion lacrosse team in 1957 – and also holds an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from the same university. In recent years Oren has turned his attention to the most critical issue facing society today, global warming.

– Oren Lyons: “Indigenous Views on Climate Change: Business as Usual Is Over”

– Oren Lyons: “What Is Native Environmental Ethics?”

In addition to the above talks, Oren asked me to make available the following article that he wrote on climate change.

Oren Lyons’ Article

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