Indigenous cultures and wilderness explored in talk Nov.1

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Award-winning educator Jack Loeffler will lead a workshop called "Wildnerness and the Indigenous Mind: Land Ethics, History and Culture" at the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park in Tempe, Arizona, Nov. 1.

The workshop is part of Arizona's Wilderness Coalition's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act called "Views of the Wild," which is a series of performances, workshops and lectures exploring views of American wilderness across time and culture.

Barbara Hawke, executive director for Arizona Wilderness Coalition, said that Loeffler spent many hours recording elders and natural sounds outdoors as a bioregional aural historian. He has over 3,000 songs of indigenous and traditional peoples.

"He really puts a lot of himself in trying to preserve tradition," Hawke said.

Loeffler's primary concern is restoration and preservation of habitat focusing on the relationships of indigenous cultures to respective habitats and the role of cultural diversity in attempting to solve the dilemmas now facing humankind.

The workshop will focus on exploring views of wilderness from different cultures and from historical perspectives through panel discussions and audience conversation and presentations. The workshop will emphasize lessons from traditional cultures, including Arizona's rich Native American and Hispanic heritage.

Hawke said one of the goals of the workshop is to come up with a list of recommendations about how the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service can learn from people who have a history working with the land, particularly indigenous people.

Carolina Castillo Butler will be one of the presenters. She is the editor of the Oral History of the Yavapai.

Hawke said there is still room for people who would like to participate in the workshop. Those interested should call her at (970) 596-6697 or contact her by email at

More information about other lectures and workshops is available at


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