Protecting an Intimacy Between Karuk and River

International guest Kari Marie Norgaard, Associate Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon, joins Dr Christine Winter to discuss her new book Salmon and Acorns Feed Our People: Colonialism, Nature, and Social Action (2019). Kari’s work focuses on the social organisation of denial (especially regarding climate change), and environmental justice and climate work with the Karuk Tribe on the Klamath River.

This book is the culmination of years spent collaborating with the Karuk tribe whose view of themselves as “fix the world people”, has been threatened by the downstream environmental, health, cultural, spiritual and political impacts of the dams connected to the Klamath River. Dr Norgaard and the Karuk people seek to bring healing and visibility to the intimacy of the ways people’s lives are connected to the river.

There’s no doubt that there is an ongoing lived reality of racism and colonialism manifesting in natural resource policy in explicit and visceral ways. Dr Norgaard and the Karuk tribe encourage listeners to help join their efforts in returning responsibility back to the Indigenous people as a warming world threatens this important river. Learn more about the Karuk Climate Adaptation Plan.

This podcast is part of The Re-(E)mergence of Nature in Culture multimedia series originated from a two-day symposium, the second of its kind. It’s an opportunity for Indigenous scholars and people working with Indigenous scholars and Indigenous peoples to come together, discuss the ways in which culture and nature are entwined in the philosophies, lives and strengths of indigenous peoples. Importantly, we reflect on the leadership these perspectives offer as the world faces multiple challenges such as climate change, pollution and associated biocultural destruction.


00:11   Introduction – Christine Winter
01:55   Karuk’s Intimate Connection to the Klamath River
07:45   Moulding a Project from Outrage
12:05   Forging Collaborative Relationships and Navigating Ethical Terrain
19:30   Celebrating Vibrant Living Cultures and Avoiding Anthropology
24:00   Pervasive Colonialism
32:10   Intersection of Emotions and Power
36:55   Karuk Public Outreach Campaign
40:40   Encouraging Sociology to Mobilise Change
44:10   Navigating Discipline Hostility


Professor Kari Marie Norgaard, University of Oregon
Dr Christine Winter, Postdoctoral Fellow, Sydney Environment Institute

Professor Kari Norgaard was a Visiting Fellow as part of the Sites of Violence research project.