Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Black Mesa Water Conference April 2009

For Immediate Publication
Contact: Vernon Masayesva, (928) 255-2356

KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz., Nov. 19 -- Native American traditional spiritual leaders, artists and scientists and their Western counterparts will come together in Flagstaff, Ariz., on April 6-7, 2009, to create a new vision of leadership and responsibility as the world faces the challenges of water scarcity, energy production and global warming in these troubled times. The Braiding Conference, so named because participants will braid together knowledge from a wide spectrum of cultures and disciplines, is expected to be the first round of an on-going conversation.

The Braiding Conference is sponsored by Black Mesa Trust, a Hopi grassroots organization dedicated to preserving water resources; it is funded by the Christensen Fund. The overall purpose of the conference is "to enhance understanding of the world in which we live and to demonstrate the power and reverence traditional teachings and science bring to bear," said Black Mesa Trust Executive Director Vernon Masayesva.

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in California has provided funding for scholarships for Hopi and Navajo students and honorariums for their teachers. Fifteen $300 scholarships will go to Hopi high school students, and 15 to Navajo students. Five Hopi and five Navajo teachers will each be awarded a $500 honorarium to attend the conference and to help support the post-conference development of curricula based on the information they learn there.

The Braiding Conference hopes "to demonstrate to Native youth the significant contributions of their tradition and to encourage them to pursue purposeful learning of Western science, technology and mathematics as well as their own traditions of knowing and ancestral wisdom," said Masayesva.

To learn more about the conference, scholarships and honoraria, contact Vernon Masayesva, (928) 255-2356,

Tanya Lee

(603) 377-0267

7270 Slayton Ranch Road
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

2 Chester Street
Cambridge, MA 02140

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