Who We Are


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


  1. Spiritual Wellness:  Use Indigenous frameworks to weave Indigenous ways of knowing into the science that we do.
  2. Economy & Livelihood:  Grow and leverage existing significant capacity at UArizona and within partner organizations to support the ability of Indigenous communities to lead their resilience efforts and goals (e.g., water and food security, renewable energy, climate change adaptation, and environmental health). Identify funding sources and pursue funding opportunities to support IRes Center’s work and the economies and livelihoods of Indigenous communities.
  3. Environment:  With partners, seek and provide direct support (e.g. technical assistance, project management, support development of funding applications) for on-the-ground Indigenous resilience projects focused on food, energy, and water securities and sovereignty, climate adaptation, and environmental health.
  4. Family & Community: Develop and support a transdisciplinary, connected network of UArizona faculty, researchers, university centers, students, staff, administrators, and community partners working with Indigenous communities on resilience. 


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.