Enrique Salmón

Enrique Salmón (pronounced sahl-móhn), is a Rarámuri (Tarahumara). He feels indigenous cultural concepts of the natural world are only part of a complex and sophisticated understanding of landscapes and biocultural diversity, and he has dedicated his studies to Ethnobiology and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in order to better understand his own and other cultural perceptions of culture, landscapes, and place.

Dr. Salmon's recent studies have led him to seriously consider the connections between Climate Change and Indigenous traditional foodways. In order to maintain the sustainable food producing capacities of many landscapes to produce wild and cultivated foods and livestock is to secure a future for the land and people. Increasingly, the scientific majority agrees that Global Warming will negatively impact the planet's ability to feed exponential human population growth. As a result, we need to look to places of hope and resilience for solutions to how to adapt to these Earth Changes and continue to feed human populations. Indigenous homelands are regions noticing the effects of Global Warming, but also able to possibly offer solutions for ways to feed the planet due to the resilience of traditional foodways worldwide. Foodways are connected to every element and process of sustainable bio-cultural diversity meaning that all facets of sustainable foodways including cultural expressions, landscapes, education, leadership development, networking, and policy should be understood and supported.

Enrique has a B.S. from Western New Mexico University, an MAT in Southwestern Studies from Colorado College, and PhD. in anthropology from Arizona State University. His dissertation was a study of how the bio-region of the Rarámuri people of the Sierra Madres of Chihuahua, Mexico influences their language and thought; poisonous plants used for medicine was the focus for the study. During his doctoral course studies Enrique was a Scholar in Residence at the Heard Museum. Enrique has published several articles and chapters on Indigenous Ethnobotany, agriculture, nutrition, and traditional ecological knowledge. He has also written and published a the book, Eating the Landscape: American Stories of Food, Identity, and Resilience with the University of Arizona Press.  He is an Associate Professor. Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies and head of the American Indian Studies program and California State University East Bay in Hayward.

Topics covered
  • Cultivating Resilience: Indigenous Solutions to Climate Change
  • Ethnobiology of Native North America
  • Ethnobotany of the Greater Southwest
  • Poisonous Plants that Heal
  • Bioculturally Diverse Regions as Refuges of Hope and Resilience
  • The Language and Library of Indigenous Ecological Knowledge
If you would like to plan a speaking event with Enrique, please email him at enrique.salmon [at] csueastbay.edu