Left: a colorful book with the title Fresh Banana Leaves sits on a pink table with a large flat green leaf behind; right: a smiling woman with round glasses, shoulder-length brown hair, and a black blazer over a dress with large yellow, red, and purple flowers

Centuries of colonialism and racism have led to Indigenous science being dismissed or left out of mainstream environmental policy for far too long. And as one Indigenous scientist points out in a new book, that’s to the detriment of conservation efforts—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Join us at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 30 for a discussion with Maya Ch’orti’ and Zapotec environmental scientist Dr. Jessica Hernandez about her new book, Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes Through Indigenous Science.

In the book, Hernandez unpacks why western conservationism is a broken system and offers Indigenous models, informed by case studies, personal stories, and family histories, that center the voices of Latin American women and land protectors. She also puts Indigenous environmental knowledge into context and proposes a vision of land stewardship based on healing and renewal, rather than displacement and destruction.

After Hernandez introduces us to the book, we’ll have time for audience questions and discussion of what science writers can do to better include and respect Indigenous perspectives and avoid perpetuating harmful colonial stereotypes and framing in their work.

Register now to reserve your spot and receive the Zoom link to join this timely discussion.

Tuesday, November 30, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Pacific Time

Dr. Jessica Hernandez (she/e) is a transnational Indigenous Zapotec and Maya Ch’orti’ scholar, scientist, and community advocate based in the Pacific Northwest. She earned her PhD at the University of Washington. She has an interdisciplinary academic background ranging from marine sciences to forestry; her work is grounded in her Indigenous cultures and ways of knowing. She advocates for climate, energy, and environmental justice through her scientific and community work and strongly believes that Indigenous sciences can heal our Indigenous lands. She is the founder of Piña Soul, SPC, an environmental consulting & artesanias hybrid business that supports Black & Indigenous-led conservation and environmental projects through community mutual aids and micro-grants. Her current research is investigating the role energy plays in addressing climate change impacts, from an environmental physics lens. ​Her book, Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes Through Indigenous Science, is slated for release in January 2022.