Lessons learned in the design and operation of the Certificate in Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands

Authors: Rafael Moreno-Sanchez*, Univeristy of Colorado Denver, Timberley Roane, Universty of Colorado Denver , David Mays, University of Colorado Denver, Brenda J. Allen, Professor Emeritus University of Colorado Denver, Gracie Tyon, University of Colorado Denver
Topics: Environment, Indigenous Peoples, Environmental Science
Keywords: Indigenous lands, STEM, Indigenous knowledge, environment.
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 39
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Perspectives, knowledge, and skills of Indigenous peoples can bring deep insights to the study and management of complex bio-social systems through holistic approaches to problem solving, ways of knowing, and decision-making. The ESIL certificate at the University of Colorado Denver was established in 2018 with the aim of educating graduate and undergraduate students on the knowledge and skills that will allow them to be effective liaisons between tribal and non-tribal organizations working on environmental and natural resources management issues. The certificate creation and operation follow Indigenous approaches to collaboration and decision-making, as well as principles of collective impact. The program is organized as a partnership between the university, three tribes, and four government agencies, where most team members are Indigenous professionals engaged in environmental stewardship. Emphasis is made on incorporating students into professional experiences and internships with tribal organizations or Indigenous professionals working on environmental stewardship of Indigenous lands. The ESIL program also offers scholarships to undergraduate students with demonstrated commitment to Indigenous communities. This presentation describes the lessons learned through the successes and challenges of almost 3 years of work on the development and operation of the ESIL certificate.

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