U.S. Green Building Council Central California and Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival to Start Planning Process for Indigenous and Environmental Resource Center at the San Joaquin River
Fresno, CA March 1, 2021 — The US Green Building Council Central California (USGBC-CC) has received a grant from the San Joaquin River Conservancy (Conservancy)to start the planning and design process to enable public access and create an Indigenous and Environmental Resource Center at the Circle V property located at the San Joaquin River, just outside of Fresno in Madera County. USGBC-CC received final approval for this grant funding as part of the California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Fund (Proposition 40) and the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Fund of 2006 (Proposition 84) from the Wildlife Conservation Board, which manages the Conservancy’s grant funds.
USGBC-CC in collaboration with the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival (AICLS), will be leading the public outreach process to adaptively reuse two buildings that are connected to a beautiful riparian and oak woodland along the river. AICLS will reach out to local tribes as tribal liaison for the project.
This project will include educational opportunities for local Fresno State students by integrating different student learning opportunities and classes including Engineering, Construction Management, Interactive Multimedia and Business. The goal is to achieve LEED certification and create an innovative demonstration project for green buildings in our region.
“Since 2007, our organization has been working to bring together professionals to learn from and inspire each other to build green buildings. We are excited to start the process to develop a green building to help provide hands-on learning opportunities and educate the wider community on the details and benefits of green buildings’, says Laura Gromis, Executive Director of USGBC-CC. “Working with the local tribes, we are excited to connect
the ancient values of sustainability of indigenous cultures with modern ways to create a sustainable built environment”, she adds.
“This is a unique opportunity to provide indigenous language education resources while creating a center reflective of the local tribal stakeholders and increasing awareness of the indigenous languages and cultures along the river,” says Carly Tex, Executive Director of AICLS, “We are looking forward to working with USGBC-CC and to further our mission to support California Indigenous languages and cultures through this education project.”
John Shelton, Executive Director of the San Joaquin River Conservancy adds: “We are extremely excited to work with USGBC-CC, AICLS, and Fresno State on this project. The San Joaquin River Parkway is a great resource that has significant value to all the communities of our region. In acknowledgment of the San Joaquin River’s importance to our region’s Native Americans, this project provides what I hope is the first of many opportunities for indigenous voices to be part of the team from the envisioning to the operations.”
About USGBC Central California
The US Green Building Council Central California is a 501c3 nonprofit organization located in Fresno, CA with the mission to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built, and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life. USGBC-CC is focused on education, networking, and advocacy to advance its mission and is a partner of the City of Fresno in its Transform Fresno project focused on creating transformative climate communities.
About Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival
The Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival is an all-Native run and led non-profit organization with the mission to foster the restoration and revival of indigenous California languages so they may be retained as a permanent part of the living cultures of native California. We do this through advocacy, education, and training of speakers and learning, identifying and using indigenous languages resource materials, implementation of linguistic information and tools, creating learning program models and language restoration materials, maintaining master and apprentice language teams and using modern technology for language documentation and restoration.
About San Joaquin River Conservancy
The San Joaquin River Conservancy was created by the California Legislature in 1992 to develop and manage the San Joaquin River Parkway, a planned 22-mile natural area and wildlife corridor extending from Friant Dam to State Route 99, with interconnected trails, recreation, and outdoor education features. The Conservancy is committed to protecting the river’s environmental, wildlife, cultural, scientific, agricultural, educational, recreational, scenic, and flood conveyance resources, which are of regional and statewide significance.
For more information, visit USGBC-Central California
Winter California Indian Spoken Word
On December 21, 2020, the first day of winter, the Advocates will host our winter edition of California Indian Spoken Word! Hosted by Vincent Medina, we invite California Indian communities to come share your languages in a performance of song, poetry, stories, and more. Submit a pre-recorded video or join us live for this open mic event.
Scan the code on the posting, or Register through Zoom
This Giving Tuesday, we are asking you to make a donation to the Advocates as we work with Native communities to help them create new speakers through our programming. Although the pandemic has caused us to discontinue in-person workshops, meetings, and events, we are still continuing to work with our Master Apprentice teams, and having online session with them to stay connected and stay motivated. We are still awarding Seeds of Language to community members working on language projects, and just recently were able to award families with technology support to help them stay connected with their speakers. We are still making plans for 2021 programming, including Breath of Life Institute and new youth programming in store. Your donation will help us to continue all of our programs and every little bit helps and is most appreciated!
From the Executive Director
We at AICLS have decided to postpone all in-person gatherings for at least the remainder of the 2020 year. Our events and activities will be moved to online platforms and we are planning to host special presentations available through Zoom, Facebook and YouTube.
We hope you will engage with us there. This move was essential to keeping our elders and communities safe. Stay up to date through our newsletter, facebook and website as we announce and communicate our plans. Thank you for your continued support, your patience and understanding as we navigate the changing times with you.
— Carly Tex, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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How COVID-19 Is Impacting Breath of Life 2020
First, the Breath of Life Institute 2020 scheduled for May 31 – June 6, 2020 at U.C. Berkeley is now designed as series of online video and interactive presentations. The AICLS board of directors discussed postponing the gathering until a later date, feasibility of developing online tutorials and whether to schedule small group-visits to the UC Berkeley campus. Decisions by the university to remain open or closed will determine our course of actions. (As of this update, June 15, the campus will be closed.)
Thanks to all who have applied to participate in Breath of Life 2020 and for your continued support and interest. We will keep you informed with regular updates.
The next on-campus Breath of Life Institute is scheduled for 2021!
Breath of Life is a response to Indigenous California communities and families who want to revive and strengthen their languages, particularly those for which there are no living speakers. By working with the linguistic field notes, other documents and recordings, participants in the Institute can learn how to understand and use these materials for the purposes of language revitalization.
University of California, Berkeley has several major archives which, collectively, house the largest collection in the world of unpublished material on Indigenous California languages. We give thanks to the foresight of those who shared their knowledge with the linguists and anthropologists, making sure that much was recorded for posterity. Your participation with this program gives to these archival materials the Breath of Life!
Registration for Breath of Life is currently closed.
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