Naturalist to speak on how educators can teach about indigenous culture


By Chris Bavender

Ivy Tech’s Hamilton County campus will host Autumn Brunelle at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 10 as part of a statewide environmental humanities initiative by Indiana Humanities. Brunelle is a naturalist at Monroe County Parks and Recreation.

The talk, “Beyond Land Acknowledgements: Reframing Narratives and Creating Actual Inclusivity in Outdoor Education,” will provide insight into how educators can include and teach about indigenous culture and people in environmental education.


“I’m excited to share my knowledge as an environmental educator and an Anishinaabe woman with the audiences obtained through Indiana Humanities,” Brunelle said. “With the rise in creating Land Acknowledgements statements by organizations, groups and individuals, it’s important to remember and work through the history and plan to fulfill the purpose of such statements. My presentation, ‘Beyond Land Acknowledgements,’ provides the audience with environmental themed hands-on activities, resources and knowledge shared from my personal experiences to actively practice and take action towards supporting, including, and listening to Native people.

“By the end of this talk, the audience should have enough resources, ideas and skills to begin to do more than just acknowledge Native people.”

  According to the Environmental Humanities Speakers Bureau, supported by Indiana Humanities, it is a curated group of interesting and informative presentations, discussions and workshops by Indiana scholars on topics such as Indiana’s environmental history, climate change, environmental racism and other topics.

Indiana Humanities curated a list of local scholars to speak on topics related to the environmental humanities – how we shape our environments and how our environments shape us,” said Megan Telligman, director of programs for Indiana Humanities. “Ivy Tech applied to host Autumn as part of a broader effort to recognize National Native American Heritage Month in November.”

Director of Diversity, Equity and Belonging, Kyle James Dorsch said Brunelle will bring “wonderful and needed knowledge.”

“I love to find speakers and events that can complement the Heritage Months that Ivy Tech recognizes and celebrates, and in November we recognize National Native American Heritage Month,” Dorsch said. “I knew this was the perfect event for Ivy Tech Hamilton County to host on campus.”

Earlier this year, Indiana Humanities kicked off a multi-year theme, “Unearthed,” focused on Hoosiers’ relationships with the natural world.

“Through the speakers bureau program, we hope that communities across the state can engage with experts and scholars to have conversations about the past, present and future of Indiana’s environments,” Telligman said.

The event is free and will be held in Room 137. For more on Brunelle’s speech, visit For more about Indiana Humanities, visit