Philosophy Symposiums & Roundtables

2022 Philosophy Symposia Series

~ Winter & Fall ~


Our 2022 Philosophy Symposia Series focuses on two topics: military life and the ethics of war & autonomous weapons systems, and our relationship with nature.  Each symposia invites thought-provoking questions about the complex terrain of “being human together.” In Winter & Fall 2022, community members will have an opportunity to explore, discuss, and think critically about these topics and the questions they evoke with distinguished Humanities scholars from Montana and across the nation.  All symposia in the series will be free and open to the public and will involve a combination of speaker presentation and community discussion.

Fall 2022:  Gaia & Indigenous Perspectives on Nature

Amskapi Pikuni (Blackfeet Nation) tribal member, and Aaniiih, Nakoda, Dakota tribal descent and an adventure explorer, photographer, videographer, writer, storyteller who travels throughout Montana to tell stories from an Indigenous perspective.

Lailani, grew up on the Blackfeet and Fort Belknap Indian reservations where she explored her home landscapes as a kid and got into trouble for taking off into the mountains (without notice) on “adventures.” She grew up hearing the stories and history of her tribal people and was grounded in identity through the passing down of oral traditions from her grandparents on both sides of her family and tribal lineage.

Read More About Lailani...

She says her experience and passion has led her to a closer connection to nature, likeminded storytellers, while vamping up a hunger to encourage others to tap into their voice through written and visual storytelling.

Lailani is on the board of directors for the Freeflow Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Missoula, Montana, that delivers opportunities for creativity, space, and access to wild places for writers, artists, and leaders of all backgrounds. She also is an advisory board member for The Common Ground Project, based in Yellowstone, Montana, that connects people from all walks of life to foster understanding of each other and the environment through campfire retreats.

Another added service was to Wild Montana as a Native Conservation fellow where she fostered Indigenous land-based story hikes to advocate for public land protection. She taught tribal story-based video courses at Salish Kootenai College, and is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Climate Change Advisory committee.

Upham works to capture stories that inspire people of all walks of life to consider their relationship with nature, while advocating the preservation of tribal stories and public lands.

Layered by outdoor travel adventures and lifestyle, Lailani hopes through her work to share her vision of wild places, Indigenous culture, untamed landscapes to inspire others to explore for themselves new understandings and relationships.

Her visionary perspective has earned her opportunities to work on an award-winning journalism team, “Framing a Movement – The Media at Standing Rock, Montana Journalism Review a Special Report;”and also an award-winning film documentary project, The Blackfeet Flood, and film shorts Sixty Four Flood. She created a hobby storytelling YouTube channel called, Pikuni Bigfoot Storytelling Project to gather tribal encounters and stories of Sasquatch.

She worked as a reporter and photojournalist at the Flathead Reservation tribal newspaper, Charkoosta News, where thousands of news articles have been published in the 10 year span.

Her production studio is based on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana.

But beyond all the career stacks, Lailani is most proud of her three children, Ryan, Joseph, and Ashley; and three adorable grandchildren. Holly, Iverson, and Zion.

Martin Ogle is an Educator, Wildlife Scientist, and former Chief Naturalist Emeritus for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, and founder of Entrepreneurial Earth.  He attained B.S. and M.S. degrees in Wildlife Science from Colorado State University and Virginia Tech, respectively.

Martin has served as an Instructor for Keystone Science School, Smithsonian Institute, and US Department of Agricultural Graduate School and has been recognized by Arlington Public Schools, Arlington County, and other organizations for outstanding contributions to the community.

He has a received a Green Innovation Award, Krupsaw Award for Non-Traditional Teaching, and an Arlington Green Patriot Award.

Martin is adept at bringing people together to advance sustainable living in creative, fun and successful ways.  His work is highly influenced by Gaia Theory — which Ogle has researched extensively and presents regularly on.

Read More About Martin...

Martin currently lives in Louisville, CO with his wife Lisa and twins, Cyrus and Linnea. 

Our Fall symposia will focus on our relationship with nature & will run from Friday, September 23rd – Sunday, September 25th.  Conversational & interactive in format, each symposia will cover different terrain in different places.

Featuring guest scholar Martin Ogle, MS (Educator, Wildlife Scientist & Chief Naturalist Emeritus for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority) & Lailani Upham, MA (Educator, Journalist, Storyteller, Environmentalist, Amskapi Pikuni (Blackfeet Nation) tribal member, and a descendent from the Aaniiih, Nakoda, and Dakota tribes). 

Each scholar will offer perspectives on our relationship with nature as viewed by Gaia Theory & Indigenous worldviews.  Both will involve discussions and reflections about the inter-connectivity of earth (and its inhabitants), mythology, science, literature, and ethics. 

(See our event calendar for program details)

Want to learn more about some of our other philosophy-based community events & socials?  Click on one the applicable link(s) below:

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