Indigenous women’s narratives are spotlighted in the face of climate challenges

The Diverse Stories of Resilience video series comprises a collection of resources spotlighting traditionally underrepresented voices within the topic of Women & Climate Resilience. 

These narratives showcase remarkable displays of human resilience spanning historical contexts to contemporary times, conveyed through a series of videos featuring women from both scientific and non-scientific backgrounds. These individuals share insights into their familial backgrounds, professional journeys, and personal experiences of resilience.

In the segment titled “Indigenous Wisdom,” the Smithsonian highlights various women from indigenous communities in Panama and the United States. These women represent diverse professions ranging from biology to interpretation, each offering inspirational anecdotes from their unique life paths.

Brigida De Gracia, a biologist, and paleontologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, is from the Ngäbe-Buglé indigenous region. Her impactful work in science outreach, particularly among youth, has left a lasting impression. Brigida shares her narrative about the adversities faced by her ancestors and reflects on the concept of resilience. Her interview unfolds at the Smithsonian Naos Research Lab on Panama’s Pacific coast, where she conducts research on fish otoliths and organisms from the past.

Iguaigdigili Lopez, a biologist from the Guna Yala indigenous region born in Panama City, offers her perspective on resilience. She draws inspiration from her grandfather, underscores the significance of empowering women, and emphasizes the ability to adapt to change. Iguaigdigili’s interview takes place at the Punta Culebra Nature Center on Panama’s Pacific side.

Sharyl Pahe-Short, serving as the assistant director of interpretive services at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), brings her unique heritage to the forefront. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, she is of Navajo and San Carlos Apache descent. Sharyl’s narrative encompasses reflections on family, land, and language, highlighting the richness of her indigenous background. Her interview unfolds in the “Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations Gallery” at the NMAI.