March 27, 2024 | By: and

Who Looks After Water: A Conversation about Water’s More-Than-Human Guardians

Poster_Who Looks After WaterWho Looks After Water
A Conversation about Water’s More-Than-Human Guardians
April 9th at 6:30PM EST

Talking Rivers is pleased to present, “Who Looks After Water,” a virtual event that will focus on how more-than-human beings (such as Trees, Wolves, and Eels) are fulfilling their roles and responsibilities towards the ecosystems they call home. While the program will delve into the historical nature of these relationships, it will also address how we, humans, can act reciprocally and honor/protect these guardians of water and life.

During this event, the botanist and medical chemist Dr. Diana Beresford-Kroeger will set the stage and discuss how forests are nourishing the entire planetary ecosystem, and our very own brains. Stephany Hilderbrand, an educator and artist from the St. Lawrence River Watershed, will then speak about American eels, one of the more-than-human guardians that travels the St. Lawrence River and has kept their ecosystem alive for millenia. Finally, Julian Matthews from the Nimiipuu Nation, located in the settler political construct of Idaho, will describe how the Nez Perce Tribe is working on passing Rights of Nature legislation to protect all the beings that inhabit the Snake River Watershed.


Dr. Diana Beresford-Kroeger

Botanist, medical biochemist, and author Diana Beresford-Kroeger possesses a unique combination of western scientific training and an understanding of the knowledge and methods of a wide variety of traditional and alternative sources. Her books include The Sweetness of a Simple Life, The Global Forest, Arboretum Borealis: A Lifeline of the Planet, Arboretum America: A Philosophy of the Forest, and A Garden for Life. Beresford-Kroeger was inducted as a Wings Worldquest fellow in 2010, she was elected as a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 2011, and in 2016 the Society named her one of 25 women explorers of Canada. A feature documentary about her work, the Canadian Screen Awards-nominated Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees, appeared in 2017.

Stephany Hildebrand

Stephany Hildebrand is a self-taught photographer and graphic designer who holds adiploma as an Environmental Technician. She is based on the banks of the Upper St. Lawrence. With a unique combination of scientific knowledge and visual communication skills, she is passionate about creating communication materials that help increase awareness and understanding of the natural world. Her personal work reflects on interconnectedness in nature, anthropogenic pressures, and natural processes in aquatic habitats. By combining her science and photography background, she hopes to inspire curiosity, conversation, and gratitude towards the river.

Julian Matthews

Julian Matthews is an enrolled member of the Nez Perce tribe that has a Treaty with the US Government that encompasses areas within Oregon, Idaho, WA, and Montana. Outside the Treaty they have the Usual and Accustomed rights where they traditionally hunted, fished and gathered outside of the Treaty of 1855. As a tribal member, Julian Matthews believes in continuing to exercise the Tribes Treaty rights and ensure that the younger generations will be able to do the same. In efforts to protect their Treaty rights they formed a non Profit, Nimiipuu Protecting the Environment to work on educating and motivating our Tribal youth and adults to understand and take action when efforts are made to take away or negatively impact their Treaty Rights.

We Are All In This Together

This event is part of the We Are All In This Together Symposium, which seeks to reposition environmental stewardship and humanities disciplines within an eco-centric framework. To learn more about the other events, just visit:

And who is Talking Rivers?

Through community conversations, Talking Rivers unites natural and human communities to keep Rivers healthy and flowing, and the watersheds they sustain flourishing. Our mission is to educate communities about the Rights and Rites of Rivers and their ecosystems, using science, art, and storytelling.

To learn more about work, just visit:

This program was funded in part by Humanities New York, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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