To celebrate last year’s Earth Day, we introduced “6 Indigenous Environmental Organizations You Should Follow”. This year, we’re excited to expand that list of remarkable Indigenous-led organizations that focus on environmental issues.
For Native communities, the environment is deeply intertwined with cultural preservation, reclamation of Indigenous food knowledge and systems, land and water rights, tribal sovereignty, and the stewardship of ancestral homelands.
In celebration of this year’s Earth Day, here are six more Indigenous environmental organizations that you should get to know better!
The Coalition Tribes are unified in the effort to protect this landscape they call Hoon’Naqvut, Shash Jáa, Kwiyagatu Nukavachi, Ansh An Lashokdiwe, in their Native languages, all of which mean “Bears Ears.” Today, a total of 30 Tribes have expressed support for protecting the Bears Ears landscape for all future generations. They are pursuing this goal by working collaboratively with our partners to immediately address needs on the landscape and by developing a land management plan for the greater Bears Ears landscape (1.9 million+ acres) that is rooted in their Indigenous perspectives and place-based conservation strategies, developed over centuries.
The Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF) is a national, community-based organization serving American Indian nations and people in the recovery and control of their rightful homelands. We work to promote education, increase cultural awareness, create economic opportunity, and reform the legal and administrative systems that prevent Indian people from owning and controlling reservation lands.
The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) provides grants to eligible organizations for business assistance, agricultural education, technical support, and advocacy services to support Native farmers and ranchers.
The charitable trust was created by the settlement of the landmark Keepseagle v. Vilsack class-action lawsuit. NAAF is the largest philanthropic organization devoted solely to serving the Native American farming and ranching community.
They envision a Northern Alaska far into the future that remains a land of superlatives—as inspiring, healthy and supremely beautiful as it is today. Alaska’s globally important wildlands will remain biologically diverse and productive, with abundant fish and wildlife that support vigorous subsistence traditions and an extraordinary, increasingly sustainable quality of life for Alaskans.
Pōhāhā I Ka Lani is a Hawaiian non-profit organization rooted in Waipiʻo Valley to revitalize and advance indigenous Kanaka Maoli cultural knowledge and land stewardship of this sacred place of our ancestors.
Their work is to embody the essence of Pōhāhā I Ka Lani, “the emergence of intelligent stewardship to perpetuate and advance Hawaiian resources”, by continuing to host educational, community, and cultural groups & workshops at various sites of Waipiʻo Valley, “stewarding the ʻāina to ensure the history, ancestral knowledge, and spirit of this wahi pana are perpetuated”.
Through the practices of rematriation, cultural revitalization, and land restoration, Sogorea Te’ calls on Native and non-Native peoples to heal and transform the legacies of colonization, genocide, and patriarchy and to do the work our ancestors and future generations are calling us to do.”
We want to recognize that these are just a few of the many organizations and initiatives working in the environmental and conservation space.
This Earth Day, we want to acknowledge that Indigenous wisdom is so often (if not always) the key to environmental stewardship and the management of natural resources.
Native peoples and communities are repositories of ecological knowledge that is deep-rooted within traditional cultural practices. Environmental conservation requires the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives, and we are encouraged by the increasing visibility that these organizations have achieved and represent.
Happy Earth Day!