Professor Culhane continues his diligent engagement with First Nations People
To fulfill his personal and professional goals for fostering life-tested sustainability and justice best practices and especially for righting historical wrongs “from which I have inadvertently benefited because of the privileges afforded me by my appearance and the accident of my birth”, Dr. Culhane continues to expand his sphere of activities among our First Nations peoples and others who were tragically impacted by colonialism, genocide, and enslavement.
Dr. Culhane always spends his "spring break" time in environmental justice service somewhere in the world and this year he did that service work in the Egun-Yefolja Ecovillage deep in the forests of Alabama in the ancestral hunting grounds of the Creek Indians.
Dr. Culhane and students are currently engaged in a Food/Energy/Water Nexus and Zero Waste service project with the Muscogee Nation, acting as chief advisor and as a foreman and hands-on green builder to impart his expertise in the construction of three large Chinese Puxin concrete biodigesters inside the Muscogee food security greenhouse and consulting with tribal elders and community leaders on how we can achieve a lifestyle that can "meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations".
This multi-year project ties together his earlier projects at Standing Rock and on Indian reservations conducted when he first joined PCGS and it is connected to the mission his PCGS students and he undertakes at Rosebud Continuum which was established by the Bishop family to help Native Americans as a continuum of the dream Sonny Bishop had when he was raised in poverty and faced injustices at the Rosebud Lakota-Sioux reservation in South Dakota. This is the kind of work PCGS faculty and students do around the world that has recently been profiled in National Geographic's Human Geography and World History textbooks.
Dr. Culhane also advises the Cengage Learning team from National Geographic on projects of interest to K-12 students of environmental science and geography around the world so they can understand how different cultures are adapting to climate change and environmental degradation.
Dr. Culhane’s work with Indigenous Peoples dovetails with work that Dr. Brooke Hansen has been doing with the Seminole people of Egmont Key and goes back to his undergraduate work with tribal peoples in Venezuela, Borneo, and Sumatera, and his graduate work with tribal groups in Guatemala, Mexico, Palestine, Israel, and Egypt and brings a special dimension to his assigned duties at USF, informing his lectures and practices so that our students understand the political ecology of sustainability studies from a truly lived expertise based on participant observation. Most recently Dr. Joseph Dorsey and Professor Culhane visited indigenous Eco-Tourism sites in the Everglades with PCGS student Enas Abdel Rahman and they and their students are working with Chief Arvol Looking Horse to host the international Indigenous World Peace and Prayer Day at the Rosebud Continuum this summer. . Besides the benefit to historically marginalized groups, PCGS faculty hope to use it to recruit new students from these communities to our college and expand our diversity and impact as a true solution offering institution.