Sustainable Wisdom: Integrating Indigenous Knowhow for Global Flourishing

Location: Notre Dame Conference Center/McKenna Hall

Sustainable Wisdom

Sustainable Wisdom

How can we integrate the best of modern technology and capacities with the wisdom of first nations?

The conference brings together an interdisciplinary set of scholars and artists ready to integrate first-nation and mainstream contemporary understandings to move toward a flourishing planet.

The symposium looks deeply into the mindsets, practices and wisdom of first nation peoples across multiple disciplines. The conference speakers were selected for their specialty areas which range from science, history, education, psychology, and anthropology. The purpose of the conference is to bring to a wider audience an awareness of “first ways,” what we know about their effects on flourishing and how to integrate them into modern life for global flourishing.

The goals of the symposium are to (a) Increase understanding of “first” ways; (b) Demonstrate how indigenous cultures foster wisdom, morality and flourishing; (c) Find commonalities among different indigenous societies in fostering these outcomes; (d) Develop synergistic approaches to shifting human imagination towards “first ways.” We expect that the symposium will help us envision ways to educate about how we can move toward integrating helpful modern advances with first ways into a new encompassing viewpoint --where the greater community of life (diverse human and nonhuman entities) are included in conceptions of wellbeing and practices that lead to flourishing.

Confirmed speakers include: David Abram, Rebecca Adamson, Four Arrows, Christopher Ball, Megan Bang, Gregory Cajete, Andy Fisher, Matthew Gilbert, Bruce Johansen, Robin Kmmerer, Winona LaDuke, Steve Langdon, Barbara Mann, Dylan Miner, Penny Spikins, Sandra Waddock, Waziyatawin, White Standing Buffalo, Jon Young.

Poet in residence: Kim Blaeser. 

Artist in residence: Anthony Chee Emerson

For more information about the program schedule and registration, visit


University of Notre Dame Sponsors: Center for Arts and Culture; Center for Social Concerns; Department of American Studies; Department of Anthropology; Department of English, Department of History; Department of Psychology; Department of Sociology; Department of Theology; Eck Institute for Global Health, Environmental Change Initiative; Gender Studies Program; The Graduate School; Institute for Advanced Study; Institute for Educational Initiatives; Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, Henkels Lecture Series; John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values; Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; The Law School; The Minor in Sustainability; Multicultural Student Programs & Services; Native American Alumni; Native American Initiatives; Native American Student Association of Notre Dame; Nieuwland Lecture Series; Office of Research; Poverty Studies; Shaw Center for Children and Families; The Snite Museum

External sponsors: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi