April 9, 2022 | 6:00—8:30pm

We Are the Middle of Forever

Indigenous Voices from Turtle Island on the Changing Earth

Edited by: Dahr Jamail, Stan Rushworth

Five Indigenous Northern California leaders speaking in community on Earth’s climate crisis.

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Melissa K. Nelson
Indigenous ecologist, Media-maker, and Scholar-activist

Melissa K. Nelson is an Indigenous ecologist, media-maker, and scholar-activist. Formerly a professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University, she now teaches at Arizona State University in the School of Sustainability, Global Futures Laboratory. From 1993 to 2021, she served as the founding executive director and CEO of the Cultural Conservancy and continues to serve as president of their board.

She is a contributor and co-editor of What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want To Be? (2021), Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Learning from Indigenous Practices for Environmental Sustainability published (2018), and Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future (2008).

She is Anishinaabe/Métis/Norwegian and a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Kanyon (Coyote Woman) Sayers-Roods
Co-founder & CEO of Kanyon Konsulting LLC

Kanyon "Coyote Woman" (Hahashkani) Sayers-Roods is a Mutsun-Ohlone and Chumash Two Spirit Indigenous relative. She is proud of her heritage and her native name and is an active leader in the Native Community.

Kanyon is the Co-founder & CEO of Kanyon Konsulting LLC, where she strives to bridge the gap between Indigenous and contemporary value systems. Her goal is to make a difference in the lives of others by sharing her life experiences and knowledge about California Native Americans focusing on global education with emphasis on promoting understanding of the relationship between humanity and the natural world. Her recent endeavors in cultural competency are in JEDI work: Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Born and raised in Indian Canyon (the only federally recognized “Indian Country” along Central Coastal California) by her mother Ann Marie Sayers, Kanyon continues to be an Ancestor in training by honoring the past to shape the future.

Edgar Ibarra
Leadership and Program Coordinator at MILPA

Edgar Ernesto Ibarra Gutierrez is a Chicano Indigenous man of Yoeme and Tarahumara ancestry. He was raised in the city of Watsonville by his mom and his three siblings. He is currently the Leadership and Program Coordinator at MILPA, a community-based organization in Salinas-Watsonville. Edgar is also a Commissioner with the California 100, an initiative focused on co-creating transformative, sustainable, and equitable ideas that will help shape the future of California. He graduated from Cabrillo College in spring 2020 and transferred to UC Davis where he currently is a senior majoring in Communications.

Edgar's work focuses on supporting young people's civic engagement while they work towards a future where the next generations can thrive with cultural pride and dignity. Edgar has strategically supported efforts at MILPA to dismantle and disrupt the carceral system by challenging and undoing laws and policies that disproportionately impact Black and Indigenous people. He has committed himself to learn the traditional ways from the elders, practice his songs and learn his ancestral language.

Gregg Castro
Culture Director, Association of Ramaytush Ohlone (ARO), Writer and Activist

Gregg Castro [t'rowt'raahl Salinan/rumsien-ramaytush Ohlone], has been involved in preservation of his cultural heritage for over three decades, for both his late Mother's rumsien Ohlone heritage, and on his late Father's side, the since ended ‘Salinan Nation Tribal Council' (serving two terms as Tribal Chair) and currently the non-profit organization, Salinan T'rowt'raahl.

Gregg is a member of the Society for California Archaeology (SCA). He serves on SCA's Native American Programs Committee (NAPC) as Chairperson. He is a Co- Facilitator for the annual California Indian Conference. He is now the Culture Director of the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone; within that role he is on the Advisory Board of the San Francisco American Indian Cultural District.

Gregg is a writer and activist within the California indigenous community, on issues regarding cultural preservation, protection, education and traditional practices.

Ron W. Goode
Tribal Chairman of the North Fork Mono Tribe

The Honorable Ron W. Goode is a Veteran of the United States Army; a Life Member of the Sierra Mono Museum and of the United States Judo Federation. Ron holds a 6 th degree Black Belt in Judo and still enjoys teaching. He is also a retired Community College Prof. in Ethnic Studies. Ron was inducted in the Clovis Hall of Fame for his work in Education and Community Service in 2002. In 2006 he was selected as CA Indian Education Teacher of the Year and in 2006 and 2007 Mr. Goode was nominated for the Who’s Who of America’s Teachers.

Mr. Goode is a published author of an ethnobotany book on native plants and resources: Cultural Traditions Endangered, 1992. A second book on cultural ecology is in the works. Ron is a co-author on other published books, journals, articles and curriculum, including a book on Black Oak Restoration with Dr. Jonathan Long.

In 2017-2018 Ron was the Coordinating Lead Author for the Tribal Indigenous Communities Climate Change Assessment as a new report of the California 4th Climate Change Assessment.

Mr. Goode is also on the Native American Advisory Committee for the Department of Water Resources for the California Water Plan Update, and a co-founder and Summit Chair of the California State Agencies and CA Tribes - Water Summit for 2009, 2013 and 2018.


Dahr Jamail

Dahr Jamail is the author of Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq as well as The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption and (with Stan Rushworth) We Are the Middle of Forever: Indigenous Voices from Turtle Island on the Changing Earth (both from The New Press). He has won the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism and the Izzy Award. He lives in Washington State.

Stan Rushworth

Stan Rushworth is Faculty Emeritis at Cabrillo College, having taught Native American Literature for thirty years, including similar work at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a lecturer. He also worked for eighteen years at Cabrillo’s Watsonville Center teaching basic skills and critical thinking surrounding Indigenous peoples’ issues, including six years as Co-Director/Instructor of the Puente Program, a project focused in the Chicano community. He authored Sam Woods: American Healing (Station Hill Press, New York) in 1992; Going to Water: The Journal of Beginning Rain (Talking Leaves Press, Freedom, CA) in 2014, and Diaspora’s Children (Hand to Hand Publishing, Los Angeles) in 2020. His current publication is co-edited with Dahr Jamail, We Are The Middle of Forever: Indigenous Voices From Turtle Island on the Changing Earth (The New Press, New York) 2022.


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Kelli Horner
MESA Director | STEM Center Coordinator
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Karen Groppi
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