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Elohlogies of Environmental Trauma, Reclamation, and Survivance

Across most Native American epistemologies, where is more important than when, because, as Cree scholar Winona Wheeler writes, the land is “has its own set of memories.” Chickasaw scholar Jodi Byrd describes, “the land both remembers life and its loss and serves itself as a mnemonic device that triggers the ethics of relationality with the sacred geographies that constitute indigenous peoples’ histories.” Indeed, in her 2008 dissertation, Cherokee scholar Rose Gubele names and describes the Cherokee rhetoric of “elohlogy,” coming from eloh, the Cherokee word for land, religion, law, history, and culture. Gubele describes elohlogy as a rhetorical form that “blends ceremonial language with discourses about land and evokes shared memories.” We are where we are, much more than we are when we are. There is no when without a where. There is no we without a here. Emerging in relation to the work of these fellow Native American scholars, this presentation will use immersive multimedia elements, critical research, lyric essay, and shared memories to engage elohlogies of environmental trauma, reclamation, and survivance in what are now Northern Colorado, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

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