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Lecture to focus on sustainability, lifestyle changes for nomadic peoples

Friday, September 26, 2014

LAWRENCE – The Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Kansas is sponsoring a multimedia presentation by Sas Carey, registered nurse and director of Nomadicare, a nonprofit organization that supports the sustainability and cultural survival of nomadic peoples by harmonizing traditional and modern medicine and documenting nomadic life ways, lore and heart songs.

Her lecture, "Earth and Spirit: The Unique Life of Reindeer Herders in Mongolia," focuses on the changes in the traditional lifestyle of the nomads, changes that have been brought about by tourism, climate shift, politics, resource exploitation and globalization. The event will take place at 4 p.m. Oct. 23 in the Alderson Auditorium at the Kansas Union.

Carey has traveled to Mongolia for the past 20 years and is in a unique position to share her observations on these changes

“Seventy years ago in Mongolia, 100 percent of the population was nomadic,” Carey said. “Now only 35 percent is. The need has shifted in the past 20 years from taking health care to nomadic herders to documenting a way of life which may be disappearing.”

Carey is a registered nurse, energy healer, educator, writer and filmmaker. Following her first trip to Mongolia with the American Holistic Nurses Association in 1994, she founded and now directs Nomadicare (nomadicare.org). Carey is the author of "Reindeer Herders in My Heart: Stories of Healing Journeys in Mongolia" and the director of three movies about Mongolia: "Gobi Women’s Song," "Taiga Heart Song" and "Steppe Herbs, Mare’s Milk and Jelly Jars: A Journey to Mongolian Medicine," which have been screened in Mongolia and the United States. Carey has also worked as a health education consultant for the Mongolian office of the United Nations Development Programme. Currently, she lives in Vermont.

“We are pleased to be able to give the students and faculty at KU an opportunity to hear firsthand about the impact of modernity and technology on the indigenous people of Mongolia,” said Megan Greene, director of the Center for East Asian Studies. “It is also important for us to recognize the value of indigenous cultural practices before they become marginalized and  commodified.”

The Center for Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies has provided additional support for this event, which is free and open to the public.