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Olympia book reading: Zoltán Grossman’s Unlikely Alliances
March 12 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm PDT
Zoltán Grossman, Professor of Geography and Native Studies at The Evergreen State College, will be speaking in Olympia on Tuesday, March 12 (6:30-8:00 pm) about his University of Washington Press book “Unlikely Alliances: Native Nations and White Communities Join to Defend Rural Lands,” at Historic Lord Mansion (211 21st Ave. SW) in the South Capitol neighborhood, to kick off an Evergreen faculty speakers’ series. The event is free and open to the public.
Around the country, white farmers, ranchers, and fishers have at times been virtually at war with Native peoples over treaty resources such as fish and water. Yet faced with an outside threat to the common environment—such as a mine, dam, bombing range, coal train, or oil pipeline—some communities unexpectedly joined to protect the same resources. Unlikely Alliances explores this evolution from conflict to cooperation in the Pacific Northwest, Northern Plains, Great Basin, and Great Lakes, in the 1970s-2010s. The alliances suggest how a deep love of place can overcome the most bitter divides between Native and non-Native neighbors. They offer lessons about building populist movements across lines of racial and cultural identity.
Dr. Grossman is a longtime community organizer, and was a co-founder of the Midwest Treaty Network in Wisconsin, earning his Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a past co-chair of the Indigenous Peoples Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers, and co-editor of “Asserting Native Resilience: Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations Face the Climate Crisis” (Foreword by Billy Frank Jr.). For more information on his 2017 University of Washington Press book “Unlikely Alliances: Native Nations and White Communities Join to Defend Rural Lands” (Foreword by Winona LaDuke), see https://sites.evergreen.edu/unlikelyalliances
“Unlikely Alliances” won Finalist Status for the 2017-2018 Malott Prize for Recording Community Activism, of the Langum Foundation charitable trust.
“When Indigenous peoples united with ranchers and farmers to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, they blazed an electrifying new path away from climate catastrophe. Such alliances to defend land and water have been taking shape for decades―and they have much more to teach us. Grossman draws out the key lessons from these stories with great skill and care.”
―Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine
“Unlikely Alliances demonstrates that our ongoing fights for climate justice are not isolated struggles, but are founded upon a legacy of collaborative resistance. This book is an essential read for all organizers, water protectors, and land defenders who wish to build healthier, more sustainable communities and native nations.”
―Dallas Goldtooth, national organizer, Indigenous Environmental Network
“Tribal nations’ fight for treaty rights has always been on the frontlines. We will build bridges with our neighbors to find common ground, but cannot compromise our future. As place-based societies, we can no longer allow business as usual.”
―Brian Cladoosby (Speepots), Chairman, Swinomish Tribe