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Traditional Hopi and Western Sciences braiding conference announced

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Internationally acclaimed scientists, teachers and artists, including water science pioneer Masaru Emoto, are featured in the film “What the BLEEP Do We Know!?” Quiet Axis creator, painter and environmental/space artist Lowry Burgess of Carnegie Mellon University and artist/muralist Michael Kabotie of the Hopi Tribe will soon gather with Hopi traditional leaders and teachers, including Keeper of the Pipe Jerry Honawa and former Hopi Chairman Vernon Masayesva, to explore what new paradigms of understanding arise from the braiding of Western and traditional Hopi sciences.

Through dialogue and explorations focused on the two systems of knowing and their unique approaches to the nature, actions and teachings of water, 16 distinguished core dialogue participants and conference attendees will share knowledge and experience to generate new understandings of the world we live in. The dialogue and discussions will be held April 6-7 in Flagstaff, Ariz., and will be led by Leroy Little Bear, former director of Native Studies at Harvard University and 2003 Canadian Aboriginal Person of the Year.

Unlike efforts to blend traditions, work at the conference will be more akin to the way in which dark and light threads are bound together before being woven into Hopi fabric. Like that single black and white strand – that strand that gives to Hopi weaving its unique character and endurance – the system of inquiry developed through conference dialogue will draw strength and quality from its respect for the integrity of traditional and Western approaches. As with all Hopi weaving, the work will draw energy from the optimistic hope of the weaver that the braiding of two into one will yield a singularity stronger, more beautiful, and more responsive to contemporary need and challenge than could be created from either on its own.

Conference registration will be limited to 200 persons. It will include both adult learners and some 40 indigenous youth whose attendance is intended to deepen their appreciation of traditional science and knowing, enhance their sense of identity, and promote more purposeful learning, especially in science and mathematics, as prerequisites for their effective leadership of their people in the years ahead.

Registration forms and information are available by e-mail at BraidingConference@gmail.com or by mail at BMT Braiding Conference, P.O. Box 30396, Flagstaff, AZ 86003, and at the Black Mesa Trust Web site, www.blackmesatrust.org. Registration for the Conference including all meals, banquet attendance and materials is $175, which may be paid by check or by credit card through PayPal.

Other members of the core group of dialogue participants include: Angelita Borbon, Pasqua Yaqui practitioner of sacred science and Mesoamerican oral traditions; Phillip Duran, physicist and former dean of science and mathematics at Northwest Indian College; Alan Hamilton, president of Rio Grande Return; Rabbi Nina Perlmutter, emeritus faculty and former chair, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Yavapai College; Al Qöyawayma, Hopi scientist, engineer and artist; Thomas Sisk, professor of Ecology and graduate programs director, Center for Sustainable Environments, Northern Arizona University; and Eric Weislogel, executive director of Metanexus Institute, an international transdisciplinary network in science and religion.

The conference is sponsored by Black Mesa Trust, Northern Arizona University, the Museum of Northern Arizona and others. Funding for the conference is provided by the Christensen Fund, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Marguerite Casey Foundation, the SB Foundation, and others, including individuals. Persons and institutions interested in providing additional support to expand conference access and opportunity or to underwrite the work of Black Mesa Trust generally can contact Black Mesa Trust Executive Director Vernon Masayesva at kuuyi@aol.com.