EcoTruths for Indigenous Youth – Now Recruiting!

EcoTruths for Indigenous Youth – Now Recruiting!

This season series focuses on Land

(re)Claiming Our Land, Our Knowledge & Ourselves

Through outdoor field trips, overnight camps and virtual meetups, EcoTruths for Indigenous Youth Internship engages Native youth ages 16-22 in fostering relationships with Mother Earth all her offspring, and the various forms of life that have emerged from her re-creative energies.

In (re)establishing our relationship with her local personalities and powers, we hope to (re)member our responsibility to her and all our relations. (Re)membering one’s relationship to the Lands one shares with others, one may begin to identify their own EcoTruths. Truths that can help better inform pathways into Eco-Leadership and defense through policy creation and development.

This Internship is created and led by Indigenous professionals specifically for Indigenous youth.

Seasonal Labs include: Autumn Lab, Winter Camp, Spring Lab, Summer Mentoring

Thank you to Indigenous Strategies llc. and collaborators for program conception, Indigenous theory, design and mentorship.

A big thank you to The Wilderness Society as a major financial contributor to this program and supporting decolonized approaches to program design and delivery.

Scroll Down to see the Schedule & Application

Internship Schedule

Program DatesProgram ActivitiesActivity LocationsProgram Start and End Time
Sunday, 4/9/23In Person: OrientationIronwood Tree Experience - Urban Field Station10AM - Noon
Sunday, 4/16/23On Line Lab: History of Mining in AZVirtual - Zoom11AM to 12:30PM
Sunday, 4/23/23On Line Lab: Understanding ReclamationVirtual - Zoom11AM to 12:30PM
Sunday, 4/30/23In Person: Field TripVisit to Wa:k O'odham Reclamation site8AM to 2PM
Sunday, 5/21/23On Line Lab: (re)Claiming WaterVirtual - Zoom11AM to 12:30PM
Sunday, 5/28/23On Line Lab: (re)claiming LandVirtual - Zoom11AM to 12:30PM
Sunday, 6/4/23In Person: (re)Claiming KnowledgeIronwood Tree Experience - Urban Field StationEvening, exact times TBD

Stipend of $250 is provided for Interns who participate in all sessions. 

Must have reliable internet connection.

Application: EcoTruths for Indigenous Youth

This Internship is created and led by Indigenous Educators specifically for Indigenous youth with Tribal affiliations. EcoTruths for Indigenous Youth is an Ironwood Tree Experience (ITE) program. ITE programs are for youth who are motivated, adventurous and eager to learn. Interns must be available for the dates listed on the internship program schedule to be considered.
  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Please indicate if plan to seek credit for this internship. You must prearrange the credit and reporting requirements with your teacher ahead of time. ITE staff can work with your teacher to facilitate this process.
  • Getting to Know You

  • Activism, Mutual Aid, Climate Change, Climate Emergencies and Mental Health, Climate Change, Environmental Policy, #LandBack, Medicinal Plants, Gardening, Pollution (bioremediation, sanitation, nuclear waste, etc), Social Determinants of Health (environmental racism), Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Water, Wildlife and Conservation, Other?
  • Pick one of the following quotes and tell us how you relate to it

  • 1975 Ethel Jack, Havasupai elder: “Oh yes, we missed the land, but the land suffered just as much without us. You see we belong to the land.”
  • 2015, Joy Harjo, Mvskoke Nation: “This is the kitchen table university. Everything you need to know is here. This corn we are serving embodies lessons in geography, economics, culture and colonization. These utensils here tell a story of materiality and socialization. Salt is about migration. Songs are born here to grow food and children. We sing stories to acknowledge and grow love".
  • 2021 Nick Estes, Melanie K. Yazzie, Jennifer Nez Denetdale, David Correia: “The original stories of how Native people came to the land are told through emergence from lower worlds into new worlds or through relationships between humans and holy beings from Sky and Earth. Today, this knowledge of our origins, of how to live properly, lies withins our respective epistemologies and continues to be conveyed not only through ceremonies and prayer but also through acts of resistance to ongoing Native dispossession.”
  • Additional Details

  • We require all participants pre arrange transportation in advance of all activity dates in order to arrive on time to the ITE Urban Field Station. (738 N 5th Ave, Unit #101 Tucson, AZ 85705)
  • On line participation in this program is required. If this is a difficulty please indicate this on the application and we will try to help resolve.

Meet some of the EcoTruths for Indigenous Youth team!


Dorothy Pallanes - Yaqui


How would YOU describe the Santa Cruz River Valley and Sonoran Desert to someone who has never heard of the place?

“The Santa Cruz and the Sonoran desert have been the home and migrating path for the Yaqui, Tohono O’odham and Hohokam people since time immemorial. The ecosystem is unique to the Sonoran desert- we have drought resistant plants like the saguaro and we have water gulping plants like desert cotton wood. the color pallet of this place is a bright baby blue, jade and olive green, and a dark brown and dark purple. the people here are a community of veterans, auto workers, hippies, white liberals, chicano boys and girls, and many an athlete. Everyone has a different story here and they can all be shared over delicious food on any corner of the city.”


Nicholas Wilson - Diné

Why I joined the EcoTruth Team?
I envision the creation of a program wherein we (re)learned how to (re)create generations of Peoples “who will come to understand their lives and take up the responsibility to all living things” (Vine Deloria Jr.). Below is Deloria’s full quote.
“The future of mankind lies waiting for those who will come to understand their lives and take up the responsibilities to all living things” – Vine Deloria Jr.
With this in mind, how do we get others to fund and sustain this work, as it is important work, not just for Indigenous Peoples but all Peoples and forms of life.
Selso Villegas

Dr Selso Villegas - Tohono O'odham

Selso Villegas

Why I joined the EcoTruth Team?

I believe that it is my duty as an Indigenous Scientist to transfer all relevant information I know about Mother Earth (jewed ka:cim) to the next generation.


Harrenson Gorman - Diné


Why I joined the EcoTruth Team?

As a five fingered being of the Earth, I have a responsibility to find and uphold reciprocity for all my relations with the human, the non-human, the known and the unknown. Connecting with the multi-generational folks from Eco-Truths is one way I can hold space to honor those relationships.

Melodie Lopez

Melodie A. Lopez, MSW (Hopi/Dinè/Pueblo/Mexican)

Melodie Lopez
Why I joined the EcoTruths team?
As part of this multigenerational, intertribal team who nurture young Indigenous peoples to find their connection to and understanding of Earth, I believe this generation are our policy creators, tribal leaders and nonprofit board members who will center Indigenous culture, knowledge and language into mainstream environmental spaces.
Patrisia headshot

Dr. Patrisia Gonzales (Kickapoo, Comanche, Macehual)

Patrisia headshot

Why I joined the EcoTruth Team?

I am a baby catcher and a medicine keeper. The elders have instructed me to teach the next generation. As Indigenous peoples, we have deep knowledge of how life works. I am here because we come from the four elements of life – the water, the fire, the air and the earth.  Connect, Respect and Protect – these actions will help us to continue.