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©2002 Environmental Education Outreach Program & Northern Arizona University
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Chapter 1, Section 1:
For Students

You are on the spot. People are expecting you to quickly choose a career path, but you may not be ready. There is much to see in the world, and you are unsure of the future. Go to college? Get a job? What to do? Your tribal affiliation may be strong, a foundation for your life. Perhaps you do not have a strong link to your tribe or clan and wish those bonds were stronger. In either case, your status as an American Indian confers on you a special relationship with the Southwestern landscape. In recent centuries, non-Natives have controlled the American Indian homelands.

If you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere else.

Your ancestors possessed a vast knowledge of the land, based on centuries of life in the Southwest. In the days of your ancestors, nearly everyone was involved in the farming, hunting, gathering and other outdoor activities that taught the proper and healthful management of the land. Tribal religion and spirituality inspired a land ethic that taught that the Earth is a sacred partner in our lives, and we protected our sacred Earth.

Now the tribes need new American Indian protectors for their natural resources. Tribal youths are needed for tribal environmental jobs. Who is better qualified to manage Navajo lands than Navajos? Should Hopis or Apaches manage their own resources?

Your choice of an environmental career will yield many rewards. If your personal interests are in the out-of-doors and you care for the well-being of the Earthís living systems, an environmental career may suit you. Your work can help restore natural diversity, health and beauty to damaged landscapes. You can protect the regionís living treasures and serve your tribe and future generations by defending tribal ground. Modern population growth and the abundance of machinery and non-biodegradable trash sorely stress the fragile surface and the creatures of the Earth. Increasing numbers of diverse people use the land in reckless ways, and tribal resource managers are needed to protect and restore harmony to the environment. The tribes need new guardians who will watch, study and defend the lands for which they are uniquely responsible.



Environmental Education Outreach Program (EEOP)
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP)
PO Box 5768     Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5768     Phone: (928) 523-1275     Fax: (928) 523-1280
E-mail: eeop@nau.edu

Last updated: May 26, 2005