The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals at Northern Arizona University is celebrating its 20-year anniversary with a daylong celebration on Friday, Nov. 2, that reflects on two decades of service to tribes and looks ahead to new initiatives and programs.
Since 1992, ITEP has served tribes through culturally relevant education and training programs that increase environmental capacity and strengthen sovereignty. The institute’s work has involved numerous projects and activities related to tribal air quality, solid and hazardous waste, climate change, emergency response and educational outreach.
The day’s agenda includes a gathering from 9 a.m. to noon at the Native American Cultural Center, where the issue of climate change and its impacts on tribes will be addressed through presentations, films and a panel discussion. Guest speakers include Margaret Hiza-Redsteer, a staff researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and attorney Dean B. Suagee, a member of the Cherokee Nation who specializes in environmental law and cultural heritage protection.
From 1–4 p.m. at NAU’s Cline Library, ITEP co-founder and retired NAU professor Bill Auberle will present an historical overview of ITEP’s 20-year history, followed by a re-signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between NAU and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that formed the basis for ITEP’s founding. Acclaimed Native American author and social activist Winona LaDuke also will take the podium for a dynamic talk on indigenous issues.
The event will wrap-up back at the Native American Cultural Center from 4:30–6 p.m., with a reception and silent auction.