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Indigenous Ways Of Knowing Water

Joshua M "Gonzo fan2007"/ Edit: Ben Bombard

When he last joined us, water law expert Dan McCool argued that we’re going to need a new approach to managing water. But what if that new mindset isn't new at all? Michael Kotutwa Johnson, one of our guests, calls this mindset “indigenous ways of knowing,” and it has existed in the region for thousands of years.

In the cultural practices and lifeways of many indigenous Americans, water is respected as the source of all life. Water is regarded as a sacred and spiritual element. In Indigenous cosmologies, humans are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that clean and abundant water is available to all living things. What if those were the values at the base of a “new” water ethic? Could that happen? We’ll talk to water experts who make the case that indigenous ways of knowing water could help us face a future with much less water to go around.


Airdate: Friday, July 22, 2022 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

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