On May 25, 2017 the University of Arizona (UA) Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC) partnered with Ha:sañ Preparatory & Leadership School to put together an Environmental Health Science Conference targeting students from the Tohono O’odham Nation and other Tucson indigenous youth. Ha:sañ Preparatory & Leadership School is a Native American prep school designed to serve as an academically rigorous, bicultural, and community-based high school. As part of the daylong event, UA Superfund Research Program Trainees, Kimberly Danny and Lydia Jennings, were invited to deliver a 50-minute breakout session. A 15-minute lecture was co-taught by Danny and Jennings during which they tied environmental justice topics to mining on tribal lands. After the lecture, the duo coordinated a 35-minute “Muffin Mining” activity, which involved the students extracting fruit and nuts from muffins in order to gain insight about mining and mining reclamation decisions.
Danny states, “A major goal for both UA SWEHSC and the UA SRP is to bring tribal members and scientists together. I am honored to be invited to speak at this type of tribal youth environmental conference. It is fun to interact with younger students and discuss important indigenous issues”.