University of Regina’s 2015 Forward Together Lecture to explore the role of indigenous knowledge in today’s world

News Release Release Date: January 27, 2015 10:15 a.m.

According to world-renowned ethnographer, explorer, writer and filmmaker Dr. Wade Davis, every culture is a unique answer to a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human and alive?  

In the 2015 Forward Together Lecture, entitled “The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in a Modern World,” Dr. Davis will explore this question and celebrate the wisdom of the world’s indigenous cultures in a stunning visual journey through Polynesia, the Amazon, the Andes, Australia, Nepal and Borneo.  

“Cultural survival is not about preservation, sequestering indigenous peoples in enclaves like some sort of zoological specimens,” says Dr. Davis in his book entitled The Wayfinders. “Change itself does not destroy a culture. All societies are constantly evolving. Indeed a culture survives when it has enough confidence in its past and enough say in its future to maintain its spirit and essence through all the changes it will inevitably undergo.”

Described by Dr. David Suzuki as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity,” the Harvard-educated Dr. Davis served as Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society (NGS) between 1999 and 2003, and has been named by the NGS as one of the Explorers of the Millennium. He is the author of close to 20 books, and his photographs have appeared in more than 100 books, magazines, journals and newspapers, including National Geographic and Time. He is currently a professor of anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia.

“Dr. Davis is one of Canada’s most distinguished and versatile scholars, and it is an honour to host him on our campus,” says University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Vianne Timmons. “His respect and advocacy for indigenous cultures and ways of knowing are inspiring, and deliver a strong and eloquent message that traditional knowledge must not be obliterated or forgotten, but instead embraced and made an integral part of our collective future.” 

Dr. Davis’ lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 27 in the University of Regina’s Education Auditorium. Complimentary parking for the public will be available in Lots 13M and 14M.

Further information about Dr. Davis and the lecture may be found at:

The Forward Together Lecture was established in 2009 by the presidents of the University of Regina, Campion College, First Nations University of Canada and Luther College to highlight the four institutions' joint commitment to inclusiveness, understanding, social justice, and human rights. Past lecturers have included Chilean photojournalist Carlos Reyes-Manzo, Canadian singer/songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Palestinian physician and peace advocate Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish.


- 30 -