Who We Are


Centering Indigenous ways of knowing into co-designed environmental solutions and training the next generation of community leaders.


Goal 1: Building trust with tribal partners and UArizona research network.

For any of our collaborations to be successful, they need to be based on trusting relationships and mutual understanding. We aim to work with tribal communities by developing trainings, Tribal Summits, listening sessions, and an elder in-residence program. In addition, the Center will create pathways for Indigenous students at UArizona and advocate for resources for and with tribal communities.


Goal 2: Develop an IRes project that highlights faculty expertise.

The IRes faculty has diverse and overlapping projects that relate to working with Indigenous communities. This goal is to bring together their expertise on a joint project. The team will Identify a need, form a plan, develop a product, and disseminate the product.


Goal 3: Establish an IRes network of trusted affiliates and allies.

As part of our core values, it is our responsibility to ensure that researchers are trained to engage with tribal communities. To facilitate this goal, we aim to expand the team of experts across the University of Arizona campus. IRes will create an affiliation process and promote the use of existing training tools for faculty, staff, and students. The affiliation process will include training, tracking, and the development of a vetting process.


Goal 4: Create an efficient, communicative, and coordinated team to implement center operations.

We strive to have our internal team embody the values of relationship, respect, reciprocity, and responsibility. To implement our strategic plan and build the intentionality of our work, IRes will create an operations plan and hold regular check-ins.



By following the Center's commitment to the values outlined by Dr. Shawn Wilson of respect, relationship, reciprocity, and responsibility, IRes supports Native Nations with an emphasis on the 22 sovereign nations that are within Arizona. These values are a foundation to the work of IRes:

  1. Relationship guides the pathway to meaningful and deep collaboration and connection. Our framework and guiding principles are focused on establishing long term relationships.
  2. To kindle a meaningful relationship, Respect must be at the heart of its functionality. Transparency, consistent communication, and respect for place, beliefs, culture, history, language and ways of knowing must be elevated to serve as avenues for respect.
  3. Reciprocity grounds the work and commitment to Indigenous communities. Breaking the stigma of research and institutions, IRes recognizes and prioritizes the cyclical nature of collaboration and emphasizes the need for balanced cooperation with partners.
  4. It is the Responsibility of IRes to elevate sovereignty, self-determination, and Indigenous ways of knowing through our work both internal and external at the University of Arizona. It is the responsibility of the Center to care for and nurture the relationships and collaborative efforts that have and will be in place.

Get to know us

See the staff, faculty, and associate members that make up the Indigenous Resilience Center.



Indigenous Resilience Center Launch

A conversation between Dr. Robbins and Dr. Karletta Chief (Diné), Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, University Distinguished Outreach Faculty, and Director of the new Indigenous Resilience Center (IRes). 

Dr. Chief is an expert in watershed hydrology and arid environments, and her commitment to serving others, especially Native Nations and students, exemplifies our mission as Arizona’s land-grant university.