Hydrologic Science and Indigenous Voices - Water Education at the Boundary

Venue/Location: Pre-Recorded Video on YouTube


Joesph Gazing Wolf
Arizona State University

In this series, indigenous leaders in water knowledge and hydrologic science explore how hydrological sciences are defined and who is included in that definition. Throughout the series, we explore how Native American people relate to water, what water issues are important for us to reflect on, how we can increase inclusivity in the hydrologic sciences community, and what challenges and opportunities we face as scientists and community members when finding resilient solutions to climate change.

Joseph Gazing Wolf is a Hunkpapa Lakota and buffalo rancher of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, with mixed-race Amazigh/Nubian heritage from Upper Egypt. His life’s work is located at the interface of Indigenous lifeways and colonial cultures. His scholarship and activism are framed by a vision of existential dignity for Indigenous communities globally and across all sectors of society. In his primary line of research, Wolf assesses the impact that Tribal land fragmentation and land quality has had on ecosystem function and food sovereignty/security. He focuses on the rematriation and conservation of land as a living being, Native species such as buffalo, and traditional fire in prairie ecosystems. In this regard, his research seeks pragmatic solutions to land management, human-wildlife conflict, and rights of nature issues. He goes beyond this to utilize anthropological/archaeological and underwater diving research methodologies to aid Tribal communities in the preservation of their cultural heritage sites and artifacts. Wolf also translates his research into activism and has been directly involved in community-led efforts to stop environmental degradation in his home community of Standing Rock, as well as revolutionary activities to overthrow authoritarian governments such as that in Egypt, his other homeland. Wolf’s research and activism are founded on a strong appreciation for collaborative, community-driven, interdisciplinary knowledge that is a synthesis of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and western sciences. Overall, Wolf’s primary goal as a scholar/activist is to fortify existential place-based dignity in marginalized communities towards a vision of mental, physical, spiritual, and ecological well-being for all.