Protecting the Ash Tree: Wabanaki Diplomacy and Sustainability Science in Maine

Public Lecture by Darren Ranco

(PhD Social Anthropology, Harvard University), Chair of Native American Programs, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Coordinator of Native American Research, University of Maine

6:00 PM Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at the Geological Lecture Hall (24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138).  The Legacy of Penobscot Canoes: A View from the River, an exhibition in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, will remain open until 9:00 pm following the lecture. Offered in collaboration with the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and Harvard Museum of Natural History. Free and open to the public.

Penobscot ash basket.

Penobscot ash splint basket, c. 19th century. PM 99-12-10/52989.

Brown ash trees sustain the ancestral basket-making traditions of the Wabanaki people of Maine and play a key role in their creation myths. These trees are now threatened by the emerald ash borer, a beetle that has already killed millions of ash trees in the eastern United States. Wabanaki tribes and basket makers have joined forces with foresters, university researchers, and landowners to develop and deploy actions aimed at preventing an invasion by this insect. Anthropologist Darren Ranco discusses how the stakeholders in this interdisciplinary effort are using sustainability science and drawing from Wabanaki forms of diplomacy to influence state and federal responses to the emerald ash borer and prevent the demise of the ash trees central to Wabanaki culture.

Directions and parking Free event parking is available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage starting at 5:00 pm. Public information: 617-496-1027.

Lecture Video