Dr. Karletta Chief Named Director of New UArizona Indigenous Resilience Center

Oct. 21, 2021

Dr. Karletta Chief, University of Arizona Distinguished Outreach Professor of Environmental Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and UA SRC Community Engagement Core Lead Investigator, is also now the director of the newly established Indigenous Resilience Center. Chief, who is Diné, has long partnered with Native communities on projects that address environmental challenges and water insecurities facing tribes.

The Indigenous Resilience Center will be a partnership between Native nations and the university's Arizona Institutes for Resilience, Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice and multiple faculty members and academic programs that focus on supporting the resilience of Native and Indigenous communities. This new Center will work to address environmental challenges in ways that respect Native and Indigenous sovereignty and knowledge.

The university will begin consultation with tribal leaders in the development of the center. The center's faculty and staff will work directly with tribal leaders and governments to advance their resilience goals and priorities, and co-design community-driven solutions to address adverse impacts of environmental challenges – such as climate change – facing Indigenous communities. Projects will focus on areas such as agriculture, solar energy, off-grid water resources, food resources, Native plant adaptation and health.

"The Indigenous Resilience Center demonstrates the University of Arizona's commitment to building solutions to environmental problems in partnership with tribes. It will deepen our impact, bolster our signature strengths and draw global attention to how world-class research universities can better serve Indigenous communities," University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins said.

"The Indigenous Resilience Center is University of Arizona's commitment to giving back to local tribes who have stewarded this land for millennia and who have endured and sacrificed so much. It is critical that Native nations drive the research questions based on their priorities and long-standing local knowledge, and that the approaches involve decolonized and indigenized approaches with Indigenous scientists actively leading these efforts. Furthermore, the resilience partnerships will aim to involve students who want to give back to their communities through community-based projects that are action oriented and solution driven," said Dr. Karletta Chief.

Congratulations Dr. Karletta Chief!

This story was modified and originally published by UANews.