Meet the Panelists for the Paths to Climate Justice Earth Day Panel
This year, there will be two connected Earth Day events focusing on Indigenous knowledge and sustainability. These Earth Week events, which will occur parallel to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, will provide stories of the struggles and successes of indigenous leaders from across the Americas. In advance of the panel, we would like to highlight the panelists for the event on Monday, April 22.
Tom BK Goldtooth (Dine’ and Dakota), Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)
Since the late 1980’s, Tom has been involved with environmental related issues and programs working within tribal governments in developing indigenous-based environmental protection infrastructures. Tom works with indigenous peoples worldwide. Tom is known as one of the environmental justice movement grassroots leaders in North America addressing toxics and health, mining, energy, climate, water, globalization, sustainable development and indigenous rights issues. Tom is one of the founders of the Durban Group for Climate Justice; co-founder of Climate Justice NOW!; a co-founder of the U.S. based Environmental Justice Climate Change initiative and a member of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change that operates as the indigenous caucus within the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change. Tom is a policy adviser to indigenous communities on environmental protection and more recently on climate policy focusing on mitigation, adaptation and concerns of false solutions. IEN’s Executive DirectorTom B.K. Goldtooth was awarded the Gandhi Peace Award in 2015.
Sonia Guajajara (Guajajara Indigenous Peoples), General Coordinator of the Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil (APIB, Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil)
Sônia Bone Guajajara is the Executive Coordinator for the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), Sônia Guajajara comes from the Araribóia Indigenous Land of the Guajajara people. She graduated in Arts and Nursing, apart from being a specialist in Special Education by the State University of Maranhão. She was vice-presidential candidate in the 2018 Presidential Elections and is involved as a coordinator of the organizations and articulations of the indigenous peoples of Maranhão (COAPIMA) and of the Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB). In 2015, she received the Order of Cultural Merit from the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Culture.
Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action
Eriel Tchekwie Deranger has an extensive work history including working for the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, TakingITGlobal, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club Canada, Indigenous Environmental Network and working directly with her First Nation, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. Eriel's work history includes participation at the international level with the UN International Indigenous Youth Caucus, Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change and the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus. She has also served as an advisor to many different organization's boards including: the UK Tar Sands Network, the Tar Sands Solution Network, Keep it in the Ground network, and most recently on the board of Bioneers. Through her work with the Environmental Justice movement, Eriel has been deeply involved in social justice and anti-oppression trainings/workshops, conference facilitation, and public speaking. These have been central to developing strategy and drafting numerous declarations including the Anchorage Declaration, Keep It In The Ground Declaration, and organizing the internationally renowned Tar Sands Healing Walk. Eriel’s organizing has pulled together powerful social movement vehicles in an intersectional movement framework that has resulted in the emergence of one of the most powerful visible Keep it in the Ground campaigns on the planet, the indigenous tar sands campaign. With her Nation and relatives in the Athabasca, Peace River, and Cold Lake region, they have shone a light on the most controversial fossil fuel battlegrounds and on the environmental racism of the Canadian government and the oil sands sector. Presently Eriel is the driving force of Indigenous Climate Action, a burgeoning network to support Indigenous Climate Leadership.
Dali Ángel Pérez (Zapotec), Youth Coordinator of CIARENA, A.C. (Oaxaca, Mexico), co-chair of the Global Indigenous Caucus and coordinator of the Red de Jóvenes Indígenas de Centroamérica y México (Network of Indigenous Youth from Mexico and Central America)
Dalí Ángel Pérez is the coordinator of the Commission for Indigenous Youth and Children of the Indigenous Women Organization for CIARENA. She also coordinates the organizational processes of the Indigenous Youth Network as part of the Alliance of Indigenous Women of Central America and Mexico. She works with women, youth, and girls as an indigenous defender, providing training, counseling, psychological and legal support in cases of violence. Through her work, she promotes community norms of her native peoples to know and recognize the rights of women to participate and influence decisions. This way, she seeks to transform the reality that she is living. Outside of her communities, she seeks the creation of full and effective protective mechanisms for indigenous advocates and youth in accordance with their culture and identity.The panel will be moderated by
Leonardo E. Figueroa Helland, Associate Professor of Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management, Milano School of Policy, Management and the Environment, The New School
Leonardo Figueroa Helland, Associate Professor of Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management, works at the intersection of diverse critical paradigms to study how indigenous knowledges combine with various transformative approaches to address environmental challenges, climate crises and social injustices. His research triangulates political ecology, global studies, complex ecologism, world-systems ecology, ecofeminism, and intersectionality with indigenous and decolonial studies to articulate systemic alternatives that embody social, environmental, climate, and global justice. His writings address themes like global environmental politics and policy, indigeneity and decolonization, coloniality and ecological imperialism, gendered economies and socioecological reproduction, posthumanism and biocultural diversity, agroecology and sustainable food systems, social movements and prefigurative politics, energy geopolitics and energy transitions, and global migrations.Before coming to The New School, he chaired the Department of Politics, Justice & Global Studies at Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah), where he also taught in the MA in Community Leadership, the Environmental Studies program, and the Honors College. While at Westminster, he launched the Global Studies program and its annual conference on “Global Crises, Global Change”. He is also co-convener for the Latin American Observatory of the Humanities for the Environment.His latest writings can be found in the Journal of World Systems Research, Perspectives on Global Development and Technology, the volume on Social Movements and World-System Transformation, and the forthcoming volume on Anarchist Political Ecology. His current projects include a manuscript on Indigeneity and Planetary Politics, an edited volume with Dr. Abigail Perez Aguilera on Indigenous Ecologies.We hope you can join us on April 22nd to hear the stories of these amazing activists and hope you are inspired to learn more about indigeneity and sustainability (and attend the academic roundtable on this topic on Tuesday, April 23rd). And make sure to check the Tishman Center Earth Week page for more great events.