Karletta Chief, associate professor and extension specialist in the Arizona Department of Environmental Sciences and director of the new center, pushes a tube of soil sample into the Hogback irrigation canal near Waterflow, New Brunswick. -Mexico, on the Navajo Nation in 2017. Image: University of Arizona / Courtesy of Karletta Chief
The University of Arizona is launching a new interdisciplinary center that will partner with Native American nations to work on projects that address environmental issues.
Called Indigenous Resilience Center, the program will be a partnership between Indigenous Nations and Arizona Academic Resilience Institutes, the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice, and several faculty and academic programs focused on supporting the resilience of indigenous communities.
Faculty and staff at the center will work directly with tribal leaders and governments to jointly design community-based solutions that address issues facing indigenous communities, such as climate change. Projects will focus on areas such as agriculture, solar energy, off-grid water resources, food resources, native plant adaptation and health.
Karletta Chief, Emeritus University Professor of Environmental Sciences at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will be the director of the center. According to the announcement: “The Chief, who is Diné, is a Cooperative Extension Associate Specialist in Environmental Sciences who has long collaborated with Indigenous communities on projects that address environmental challenges and water insecurities facing people. tribes. “
The University of Arizona will be recruiting several new faculty members, all with STEM backgrounds and all with training and experience in Indigenous cultures, histories and traditions. Faculty members at the center will lead research projects and design courses that combine traditional STEM teaching with topics such as indigenous and indigenous knowledge, tribal consultation, research ethics, resource management. natural, tribal environmental health, etc.
“The Indigenous Resilience Center demonstrates the University of Arizona’s commitment to finding solutions to environmental problems in partnership with tribes. It will deepen our impact, strengthen our distinctive strengths, and draw global attention to how world-class research universities can better serve Indigenous communities. said University of Arizona president Robert C. Robbins.
“The Indigenous Resilience Center is the University of Arizona’s commitment to giving back to the local tribes who have ruled this land for millennia and who have endured and sacrificed so much. It is essential that Indigenous nations lead the research questions. based on their priorities and long-standing local knowledge, and that approaches involve decolonized and indigenous approaches with indigenous scientists actively leading these efforts.In addition, resilience partnerships will aim to involve students who wish to give back to their families. communities through action-oriented and solution-oriented community projects. “