Aquay (Hello), I am a PhD student in Comparative Public Policy in the Department of Political Science focusing on Indigenous water security and its climatic, territorial and governance underpinnings. I am an enrolled citizen of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, a federally-recognized Tribal Nation located on the southern shores of Paumanok (Long Island, NY). Shinnecock means “People of the Shore” and as Coastal Peoples water is integral to our cultural identity and survivance. However, I am still often asked “Why Water?” essentially probing my personal and professional background to uncover the key moment in my life when I was inspired to become a scholar/activist in such a niche area of Academia. But, such a question is gilded with legacies of inherited colonial intellectualisms that erase Indigenous epistemologies of caring for water since time immemorial.
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