2019 Keynote Speakers
Beata Tsosie-Penã is from Santa Clara Pueblo and El Rito, NM. She is a mother, poet, seed saver, and is certified in Infant Massage, as a developmental specialist, an educator, and in Indigenous Sustainable Design (permaculture). She is also a Green For All Fellow and has served on several local community boards. She is currently on the steering committee for the Traditional Native American Farmers Association and recently completed her training as a Jiya Vi Kagindi/Helper of Mother, Full Spectrum Doula. The realities of living next to a nuclear weapons complex has called her into environmental health and justice work with the local non-profit organization, Tewa Women United, for over a decade. As part of her work with TWU, she is currently managing the creation of the Española Healing Foods Oasis demonstration garden project.
Talia is Todích'íí'nii (Bitter Water), born for Tó'aheedlíinii (The Water Flow Together), maternal grandfather is Tl'aashchi'I (Red Bottom) and paternal grandfather is Tábą ą há (Water's Edge). Born and raised on the Diné Nation, Talia grew up with a respect for the natural world through traditional Diné teachings. The dewatering of aquifers through the extraction of non-renewable energies and the alarming legacy of abandoned uranium mines throughout her homeland drove Talia to take action to protect her communities on the Colorado Plateau. Talia has spent years grassroots organizing in rural and Indigenous communities on environmental and social justice issues. Some of her work has included working closely with communities to address uranium legacy issues, and protect sacred landscapes, Indigenous voting rights, and community radio. Talia enjoys writing, live music, skateboarding with her son, and volunteering for her communities in her free time.
Edith Hood is an elder from Church Rock. She has spent her life organizing communities against uranium mining and coordinating land restoration work.
S-keg Tas (Good day) my name is Tina Andrew and I am a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation (T.O.). I was born in Chukson (Tucson) and grew up on the T.O. reservation. I have an Associate’s degree in Life Science and am currently a student at Pima Community College working toward obtaining a Bachlor’s degree in Environmental Policy. I am the host and producer of Tohono O’odham Young Voices Podcast, which focuses on sharing O’odham topics, stories, and history from a younger generations’ perspective. I also volunteer my time at two local community radio stations KWAK 102.5 FM Tohono O’odham Nation and KXCI 91.3 FM Tucson Community Radio, as a radio DJ and podcaster for Cultivating Indigenous Voices. Since I’ve started podcasting in 2016 I’ve branched out into radio hosting, public speaking, and providing an introduction to podcasting workshop for native youth.
Rylin Becenti is a multidisciplinary artist based out of the Navajo Reservation. She is currently pursuing her BFA in Santa Fe, New Mexico with concentrations in environmental sculpture, painting, print-making and indigenous studies.
Alastair Lee Bitsóí is Diné from Naschitti, Navajo Nation, New Mexico. He is Tó'áhani (Near The Water People) and born for Kinyaa'áanii (Towering House People). His maternal grandparents are Tł'ááshchí'í (Red Streak Bottom People) and paternal grandparents are Hashtł'ishnii (Mud People). As the communications director for Utah Diné Bikéyah, he is tasked with elevating and amplifying Native American voices and cultural narratives to the Bears Ears National Monument landscape. Specifically, he has interest in elevating Native women, youth and Two-Spirit/LGBTQ voices when it comes to land protection around Bears Ears. He currently freelances for various publications and formerly reported for the Navajo Times covering topics like uranium contamination, fracking in Eastern Navajo Agency, as well as other environmental and social justice stories. He is alumnus of Gonzaga University, where he studied political science and criminal justice, and has a Master's of Public Health degree from New York University College of Global Public Health.
Yvette hails from the Bay Area and is the daughter of Salvadoran asylum seekers who fled the civil war in the 1980's. As the first person in her family to graduate from college, Yvette earned a BA in American Studies with distinction from Yale College in 2014. After graduating, Yvette interned for Justice Sotomayor. Yvette then graduated in 2018 from Stanford Law School and worked on the adult detention team at the Florence Project helping pro se respondents in their deportation proceedings in Southern Arizona for around a year; she is now the Litigation Fellow for the ACLU of AZ focusing on immigration issues. She has interned at Legal Aid at Work, Centro Legal de La Raza, and Pangea Legal Services. She is the co-founder of the Cerebronas podcast and the founder of Radio Cachimbona. Yvette enjoys cooking, craft beer, and cuddling with her cat Mocha.
Paige Corich-Kleim is a desert aid worker with the humanitarian aid organization No More Deaths. Paige participates by hiking remote desert trails to leave water and other supplies, as well as by providing direct aid to migrants and helping with search and rescue/recovery operations. She is currently the organization's Media Coordinator, where she works with volunteers to host journalists in the field, responds to media inquiries and creates social media content for various platforms.
Anthony Francisco Jr
Anthony Francisco Jr. is from the Comababi Community in the Schuk Toak District. He is an avid runner and community organizer. He served from 2015- 2019 on the Tohono O’odham Legislative Council for the Schuk Toak District and in that service was appointed to several National Committees that served Indian Country. Anthony is an Opportunity Agenda Fellow, which is a “Communication Institute” and is currently serving as a Regional Board member to the Indigenous Change- maker Fellowship Program. Anthony is a dedicated father and loves running and hiking with his kids.
I belong to the Hopi community and am from the Village of Kykotsmovi located about 100 miles Northeast of Flagstaff on the Hopi Reservation. I currently lead the Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture Institute as Executive Director. I founded this organization as a way to develop community leadership and to provide opportunities for the Hopi community to develop sustainable solutions to the problems that exist on the Hopi reservation. I also founded the Black Mesa Water Coalition, an organization working to address energy and water exploitation on the Navajo and Hopi Reservations. I have traveled to Italy, Africa, India, Tajikistan, England, New Zealand, and Mexico learning, sharing my work, and promoting community sustainability models developed by HTPI. I am a Natural Builder and have studied at the North American School of Natural Building and graduated from NAU with a B.S in Applied Indigenous Studies with a minor in Traditional Ecological Knowledge. I am also a Certified Permaculture Designer and work as a consultant to tribes, schools, and individuals to design and implement regenerative housing and landscapes. I'm a member of the Tobacco clan and live in Kykotsmovi Village along with my husband and children in our hand-built Passive Solar Home. In my free time I write poetry, prepare delicious meals using locally grown fruits and vegetables, chase chickens and turkeys, run sandy trails, and enjoy spending time with my family and friends. In 2015 I was awarded the Agricultural Humanitarian of Year Award by the Justin Willie Foundation, was recently accepted as a Skoll Foundation Fellow attending the 2019 Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford, England. In 2019 I was chosen as a Castenea Fellow which supports established rural, urban, and tribal leaders across the United States committed to building a healthier, more sustainable, and equitable food system for children, families, and all of our communities.
Jessica Keetso is one of the organizer for Tó Nizhóní Ání (Sacred Water Speaks). Her favorite place in the world is her families ancestral homeland and where she was raised. She loves to sheer sheep in the summer, haul wood in the winter, smell the rain on the ground during monsoon season and pretty much any activity outdoors during the fall and spring time. The Black Mesa Plateau is where she currently lives and works on issues surround coal mining, Navajo Generating Station, and energy development. She is currently working on the the Just Transition of the Navajo Nation from a fossil fuel based economy to a cleaner, greener, more sustainable economy. She received her degree from Northern Arizona University in Sustainability and Environmental Studies.
Adrian Lerma is Diné, born and raised on the Navajo Nation in Tuba City, Arizona. She is an indigenous environmental feminist with a mission to change the economic and political landscapes of tribal nations. Through her work, she hopes to inspire others to step into leadership roles and act as educators, activists, and agenda-setters. Her background is in program development, community outreach, and grassroots organizing. She brings 7 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector, with organizations such as Eagle Energy, Rezilience, and the Native American Business Incubator Network (now Change Labs). She is a co-founder of the Navajo Women’s Energy Project, as well as, the executive director of Yahuaca Knowledge Distribution, a company focused on knowledge dissemination and indigenous empowerment. Lerma is focused on identifying and fine-tuning strategies for Indigenous people to build out their local, regional and international reach. By providing support, knowledge and language to correctly articulate and combat currently existing barriers, she aims to reset the agenda so that the improbable is achievable and the disempowered are empowered.
Mariella Mendoza is an undocumented artist and writer; born and raised in Lima, Peru, but currently living on occupied Shoshone territory: Salt Lake City, Utah. Their artwork centers on their own personal experiences of migration, nostalgia, and survival; through the intersectional lens of transformative justice. They believe that in order to heal from trauma, we must first explore what we are healing from. Using bright colors (reminiscent of their South-American roots) and brown skin, their illustrations explore themes of liberation, self-love, and home. Delving into the complex relationships between migrant and indigenous communities of the North and South, via gatherings and ceremonies, Mariella has been featured in local and national platforms and publications, as well as collaborated with artists all over Turtle Island and Abya Yala. As a community organizer, Mariella's work has marched on the streets of New York City, New Orleans, Standing Rock and Washington DC. As a cultural educator, they are one of the co-founders of Nopalera Artist Collective; Utah's first artist collective by people of color, for people of color; which focuses it's work on the connections between culture and resistance within the valley.
Tyler has been working in various forms of art, education, and activism to encourage others to consider other perspectives and connect the dots between different issues to see how they are often inter-connected. He has extensive experience in popular education, through the Common Ground Collective, the Beehive Collective, and most recently with Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, leading the "Building the Movement for Mutual Aid" Training Tours.
Roberto Nutlouis is Diné (Navajo) from Pinon, Navajo Nation. He is of the Tódích’ií’nii (Bitter Water) clan, born for the Tótsohnii (Big Water) clan. Roberto received his Bachelors of Science in Applied Indigenous Studies from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in 2005, and he is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in Sustainable Communities from NAU. Through his involvement with Native Movement, the Indigenous Youth Coalition of Pinon, Indigenous Community Enterprises, and BMWCRoberto Nutlouis has been actively involved in the sustainable evolution of Black Mesa and the Navajo Nation for several years. His experience and expertise includes work in environmental justice, food security, energy efficiency, housing, and youth leadership development. In his spare time he likes to work on food security issues and traditional knowledge in agriculture with local Native youth, and he enjoys hiking, river rafting, camping, and reading.
Hon’mana Seukteoma is the 23 year old Dine/Hopi/Tohono O’odham woman behind the YouTube channel Seukteoma. Since the start of her channel in 2014 Hon’mana has reached over 320,000 views through her efforts to blend comde, satire, political, commentary, social commentary and vlogs that are relevant to Natives everywhere. Seukteoma works to positively impact her community, she is currently working on a documentary about O’odham opposition to the border wall in addition to her active role in Indivisible Tohono. She is currently on twitter at this very moment @ Seukteomaaa
Lady Shug is a proud indigenous person of the Diné (Navajo) tribe. They were born for Kinłichii'nii (Red House) and Bit'ahnii (Folded Arms Clan) clans. Lady Shug, has been in the business of female impersonation for over 10+ years. Her drag persona of Lady Shug was created in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she was able to start her career and work amongst some of the best entertainers of the world. After being in the limelight for so many years, she had to reroute herself and come back to her home state of the land of enchantment. She is now living on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. She is an activist for her LGBTQ2S indigenous relatives and fights to create equal rights in rural areas and reservations that do not protect those on indigenous lands. She is a former collective of the Red Nation and K'é Infoshop that have been the key encouragement to continue to smash white supremacy and heteropatriarchy for our indigenous trans, non binary and gender nonconforming folks. She has used her platform on stage to stand in solidarity or create social movements in her drag performances. She has been featured on many platforms such as USA Today, New York Times, VICE, Vouge Spain, and PBS. She reigns with the titles of Miss Las Vegas Pride and Miss New Mexico Pride, and plans to continue her pageantry career with the goal of spreading her word and teachings for equality and revolution.
Braidan is an active member for the communities he lives and comes from. He is the Regional Director for the Ute Land Trust. In this position he works to preserve ancestral Ute land and place-based cultural knowledge. Community organizing among Urban Indian and reservation communities is a deeply-felt passion that lead Braidan to leave his career in hospital pharmacy for a position at Utah Diné Bikeyah (UDB). In response to President Trump's repeal of Bears Ears National Monument, he helped organize the largest rally for public lands in Utah's history.
Danielle Austin (she/they) is currently a facilitator/teacher at Northern Arizona University in so-called Flagstaff. She also guides, and is passionate about, yoga practices. She has a background in Women’s and Gender Studies and Sustainable Communities. Throughout her time in environmental justice organizing spaces on the Colorado Plateau, she has cultivated an interest in work that brings together justice and healing. As a person with Jewish and European ancestry, she is committed to continuing to learn more about racial justice and ancestral healing work.
Tianna Arredondo (she/they) is an environmentalist, strategist, and storyteller currently working as the Co-Founder and Coordinator of the Frontlines to Power initiative with Power Shift Network. Tianna works to support and connect youth POC environmentalists through centering equity and justice principles into strategies and movement spaces. Tianna also works to elevate stories of leaders of color through their initiative Lore Media Collective, which connects young POC leadership in America to connect through storytelling. Tianna works to build networks, provide access to information, and connect opportunities to people of color in the climate justice movement. Tianna’s work supports the theory of change that with the necessary tools, information, and funding; youth in America can shift systems of power to create lasting change that will strengthen our communities and save our planet.
Julia Bernal is an enrolled tribal member at Sandia Pueblo but is also from Taos Pueblo and the Yuchi-Creek Nation of Oklahoma. Julia has her BA in English and Literature from the University of Redlands. Currently, she is working towards her MA in Water Resources Policy Management at the University of New Mexico. She previously worked with a non-profit organization, Earth Force, which is an environmental education program that empowers youth to identify environmental concerns in their communities and how to address them through problem solving and civic action.
Christina Castro resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico within her traditional homelands. She is a mother, writer, scholar, and organizer. She received her Doctorate in May of 2018 from Arizona State University’s School of Social Transformation & Justice Studies.
Amanda Cheromiah (Pueblo of Laguna) is a third-year doctoral student in Higher Education at the University of Arizona where she is passionate about sharing Indigenous student narratives through photography and digital stories. Her intended dissertation topic is a qualitative research study on how Indigenous People use running as a mechanism to navigate academic spaces in the academy and beyond. This work is inspired by an 80-minute documentary she created in the spring titled, A Scholar’s Pace: A running Narrative of Indigenous Feat. The film features the narratives of 11 Indigenous runners, including Tewanima (Hopi), an Olympian and runner for Carlisle Industrial Indian School in the early 1900’s.
Danielle Denipah (Santa Clara and Ohkay Owingeh pueblo) is a young leader who wants to make a huge difference in her community. Danielle loves the outdoors, always likes to learn more on how to protect mother earth, is interested in going into the environmental field, and just graduated high school.
Reyes DeVore is an enrolled member at Jemez Pueblo but also has lineage to Laguna Pueblo and Dine Nation. She received her Associates in Early Childhood Multicultural Education from Central New Mexico Community College. She also worked with NAPPR (Native American Professional Parent Resources) for 2 years as a Home Visitor under their Early Head Start Program where she provided parent education on child development to help break cycles of trauma within families.
Kristy Drutman (she/her) is a digital strategist and the host of Brown Girl Green, a podcast and media series dedicated to critical conversations around building an environmentally just society. Kristy interviews environmental rights leaders and advocates who want to share their stories and talk about why workplace and member diversity and inclusiveness is important for environmental advocacy groups who want to create a sustainable world for future generations. As a Filipina American, Kristy is inspired to change the image of what it means to be an environmentalist in the 21st century.
Francisco (he/they) is an anti-authoritarian abolotionist who grew up in a farmworking community on occupied Chumash territory, but whose people descend from the mountains of Michoacán. Their resistance to state-violence and environmental racism in their hometown as a young person, evolved into a radical decolonial politik rooted in direct action, mutual aid and arts as praxis. Currently they live and study community development on occupied Patwin territory.
Autumn Gomez (Taos Pueblo/ Comanche) is the A'Gin Youth Coordinator at Tewa Women United. Autumn is passionate about the healing power of bringing art and community together, as well as visiting and protecting ancestral sites and spending time in nature.
Isaias Hernandez (he/him) is a queer environmentalist and creator/ co-founder of Alluvia Magazine, a publication, collective, and blog that centers POC environmental artists that uses various media to express their environmental advocacy. Isaias also works at a creative agency where he develops and manages marketing campaigns to create community amongst people working in high fashion. He is interested in working at the intersections between environmentalism, creativity, and design to provide a new, fresh take on environmental communications and community.
Alejandro received his B.S. in Creative Media and Film from Northern Arizona University with a documentary focus on positive social change within Native American Communities. As a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe, he has dedicated his education, experience, and media skills to supporting intergenerational cultural knowledge and to broadening awareness of issues disproportionately impacting Indigenous populations. With the endorsement of his tribe, he enjoys melding traditional storytelling with contemporary media to create holistic narratives for diverse audiences. When not attending cultural events and language classes in his home community, he serves as an Admissions Counselor for the University of Arizona serving the Southern Arizona community and works closely with the Indigenous populations to get students thinking about Higher Education.
Jennifer Himel, Bear Clan, from Tewa Village of the Hopi reservation is a survivor of domestic violence. She is the founder of UNite to End Violence : Native Women's Empowerment and uses her influence through social media to bring traditional Hopi and Tewa values to the forefront of Native American feminism
Lena is a dancer and facilitator and who has been looking at various dimensions of community and ecological health for most of her life. She started with Community Rebuilds as a build intern, and is thrilled to be back in Utah with CR as the intern coordinator, working to grow the program in a way that honors the interconnection between peoples wellness, and that of the planet.
Raeanna Johnson is a youth volunteer for Tó Nizhóní Ání (Sacred Water Speaks), U.N.I.T.Y (United National Indian Tribal Youth) and the Tsedildoí Youth. She participates in many community-led events and has experience advocating for her home and the resources that will be necessary for her and future generations. She is interested in learning more about other cultures, theories of evolution and linguistics.
Maps (they/elle) is based in occupied Ohlone, so-called SF Bay Area and spends their life nurturing autonomous, community-based collectives that provide mutual aid from the hood to south of the border as well as popular education and strategy on decolonization, abolition, and transnational solidarity. They center healing for black, brown, and native people. Maps shares space with babies to 6th graders and youth, to elders alike, holding containers to explore resistance hxstory and anarchistic ways to heal our world.
Nicole Martin is from Laguna Pueblo and Navajo Nation. She is one of three co-founders and the sex education developer for a grassroots collective called Indigenous Women Rising. Her passion is committed to helping her communities live their authentic lives in the most loving way. Through Indigenous centered comprehensive sex education, her hope is to revitalize the dialogue around sex, gender, and sexuality.
Cassaundra Pino, a member of Acoma Pueblo and San Felipe Pueblo in New Mexico, is the Media and Community Engagement Specialist for the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition. She is responsible for providing support to Coalition Leadership and staff, and she creates and oversees social media to engage with the greater public and relative stakeholders while developing strategies to engage with Native communities. She recently graduated from the University of Kansas with a BS in Biology and a BA in Sociology.
Reid has a background in urban and environmental planning, and she is putting it to work as the Community Rebuilds planner! Reid is spear heading a new chapter in the organizations history, as we completely overhaul the materials we use to build our affordable homes. With Reid’s help we are making new material and building choices with an eye on the full impact of each material; on those that produce it, those that live with it, and the environment from which, and in which the product exists. When Reid is not eating the Living Building Challenge for breakfast, she makes beautiful pottery, and runs in the desert.
Sheldon Tenorio, from Kewa Pueblo uses music as a tool to help others find voice and express themselves in a healthy, creative and positive way. Sheldon believes this can be accomplished through writing, poetry, spoken word and Hip Hop. Furthering this healing and in turn strengthening ourselves first, then our peers, families, and communities; ultimately the people. Sheldon has great experience in Non-Violent Direct Action training and youth development through the arts.
Eliza van dyk
Eliza (she/they) grew up between Tuba City and Flagstaff Arizona on Diné and Hopi lands and learned at a young age that many “mainstream environmental” practices are rooted in colonialism and white supremacy. She is committed to constantly learning how she can be more accountable to anti-racist work in our region and how she can foster accountbility, learning and healing in her family and communities. She was an Uplift organizer in 2018 and she is currently a student and an organizer with Wasatch Rising Tide, a collective in so-called Salt Lake City.
Charissa Wahwasuck-Jessepe, a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, is the Operations Director for the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition. She oversees and manages the administrative, financial, programmatic, and organizational activities of the Coalition to ensure consistency with and adherence to the mission and vision of Tribal Leadership and the Executive Director. With her background in Anthropology, she focuses on promoting agency and resiliency in indigenous communities through culturally-informed methods and solutions.
Sky Wildcat is from Tahlequah, Oklahoma and is a Citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Sky has earned two separate degrees from Northeastern State University. In 2017, Sky earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Geography; and, in the Spring of 2019, Sky earned a Masters Degree in Higher Education Leadership. Sky has previously served on the Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Council and also served as the Cherokee Nation's primary goodwill ambassador: Miss Cherokee from 2016-2017. Sky has also been named both a UNITY: "25 under 25" and an "Earth Ambassador". Sky Wildcat retraced the trail of tear and learned more in depth about her peoples history in the Summer of 2018.