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Indigenous Resilience Center

Relationship • Respect
Reciprocity • Responsibility

Vision: We see a world in which Indigenous communities are thriving and adaptable to meet environmental and societal challenges.

The Indigenous Resilience Center is supported by the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice. It aims to position the University of Arizona as a world leader in Indigenous resilience research, education, and outreach. Dr. Karletta Chief (Diné), Director of the Indigenous Resilience Center, explains, “The Indigenous Resilience Center is the University of Arizona’s commitment to giving back to local tribes who have stewarded this land for millennia. Tribes have endured and sacrificed so much in terms of land loss and social and environmental impacts, much at the hand of the United States. Universities have benefited from this through their physical infrastructure and have a responsibility to be a bridge — to ethically address the challenges those communities face in ways that build trust and transparency.”

Going beyond the land acknowledgement statement

Man in casual clothes kneeling next to a plant in the desert

Extension

The IRes faculty and staff will partner with tribes to collaboratively identify community-driven resilience goals and priorities (focusing on capacity to implement strategies and actions that reduce climate change impacts in a respectful and culturally sensitive way while addressing underlying social, economic stresses and environmental risks).

Man Water Tank

Research

The IRes will focus its research on resilience in Indigenous communities. This includes sustainable solutions, renewable technologies, solar energy, water treatment, traditional agriculture, controlled environment agriculture, horticulture and small-scale farming, food sovereignty, regenerative agriculture, drought resilience, Native plant restoration, ecological restoration, and more.

Dr. Karletta Chief talking to students in a classroom

Teaching

IRes faculty will teach and promote STEM courses that are specifically tailored towards resilience, Indigenous knowledges, community-driven tribal research, tribal consultation, research ethics, natural resources management, traditional agriculture, Indigenous data sovereignty, tribal environmental health, STEM education, among others.

News

Inhabitants Film

Dr. Michael Kotutwa Johnson (Hopi) is featured in the Inhabitants film. Inhabitants follows five Native American Tribes across deserts, coastlines, forests, and prairies as they restore their traditional land management practices. For millennia Native Americans successfully stewarded and shaped their landscapes, but centuries of colonization have disrupted their ability to maintain traditional land management practices. From deserts, coastlines, forests, mountains, and prairies, Native communities are restoring their ancient relationships with the land. As the climate crisis escalates these time-tested practices of North America's original inhabitants are becoming increasingly essential in a rapidly changing world.


Land Acknowledgement

We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples. Today, Arizona is home to 22 federally-recognized tribes, with Tucson being home to the O’odham and the Yaqui. Committed to diversity and inclusion, the University strives to build sustainable relationships with sovereign Native Nations and Indigenous communities through education offerings, partnerships, and community service.