Redefining Heritage: Interwoven Interactions


June 16, 2021, 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM



All of the lectures in this series in some way examine interactions of culture and nature. But how do we as individuals and societies define our interactions with our environment? And how do our beliefs about ourselves impact our relationships with nature and the world?

This talk will explore the complexities of the relationships and ways of knowing that Indigenous peoples of the northeast bring to our interactions with each other and the world, from both a historical and contemporary context. We will examine how colonization has disrupted these relationships and subsequently contributed to the decline of environmental sustainability in the region. Finally, we will consider how people from the dominant culture and indigenous peoples can “learn together” and create new relationships with each other and the world that arise from multiple ways of knowing.

Following the presentation, there will be a moderated Q&A. Live captions are available during this presentation. 

About the speakers:

Elizabeth Solomon (Massachusett) is an enrolled member and officer of the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag., Ms. Solomon advocates on local indigenous issues and has a long-standing commitment to human rights, diversity, inclusion, and community building that she brings to both her paid and volunteer work. She serves on multiple advisory and management boards including those for the Boston Harbor Islands National Park and the Stone Living Lab. Ms. Solomon holds a master’s degree in museum studies and regularly consults with museums, historical societies, municipalities, and educators to bring the voices, histories, and perspectives of native peoples and other underrepresented communities to the forefront. 

Ms. Solomon currently works as the Director of Administration in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She has more than three decades of public health experience working in in both university and community-based settings. 

Kristen Wyman (Nipmuc) is an advocate for tribal self-determination and revitalizing indigenous foodways and economies. For over 15 years, Kristen has worked as a consultant with nonprofit organizations, tribal governments, and state and federal agencies (including Native Land Conservancy, Nipmuc Indian Development Corporation, Mashpee Wampanoag Natural Resources Dept. and Education Department, MA Department of Public Health, National Park Service, and the University of Massachusetts at Boston). She has initiated several womxn and youth-led programs in issue areas of environmental justice, violence and substance abuse prevention, youth development, food sovereignty, and transformative leadership and nonprofit development.

Kristen’s fight for the right to land, food, medicine and human dignity is completely tied to her identity and responsibility as a Nipmuc woman, mother, and daughter. She is co-organizer of Eastern Woodlands Rematriation (EWR), a network of Indigenous womxn and two-spirits restoring the foundation of sustainable food systems. Her work is deeply personal and motivated by the important roles of womxn as landholders, farmers, culture bearers, artisans and diplomats. As the Global Movements Program Manager with WhyHunger Kristen supports social movement processes at the global level, in their path towards food sovereignty and liberation. Kristen is a graduate of UMass Amherst, with a degree in Legal Studies, Political Science and Native American Studies. She completed her Master of Science program in Environmental Conservation from the University of New Hampshire.