Hydrologic Science and Indigenous Voices - Water and the Bayou

June 22, 2022 / 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT

Venue/Location: Virtual


Jessi Parfait
Sierra Club

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.

Jessi Parfait is a member of the United Houma Nation, a state recognized Indigenous tribe that has called the lands of southeast Louisiana home for all of their documented history. She was born and raised in Houma, a coastal community in Louisiana, the state losing land faster than anywhere else in the continental US. Jessi attended Louisiana State University where she received both her bachelors and master’s degrees in anthropology, where she studied the effects of forced migration on her tribe. Climate change and Louisiana’s coastal crisis instilled in her a sense of urgency to document her tribe’s history. She also practices traditional tribal crafts such as beading and palmetto weaving. After her family home was ravaged during Hurricane Ida in 2021, she decided to take a more active role in environmental issues facing her home and is currently working as a campaign representative with Sierra Club.