The University of Arizona Indigenous Resilience Center has received $2 million in funding from the Waverley Street Foundation for its two-year project, "Climate Resilience Through Indigenous Co-Design at the Food, Energy and Water Nexus." Launched in 2021, the center collaborates with Native nations to address environmental challenges while respecting Indigenous sovereignty and knowledge. The funding will facilitate the expansion of existing programs, support Indigenous scholars and personnel, and enhance outreach efforts with Native nations. The project aims to build trust and tackle climate-related challenges faced by Indigenous communities, such as higher temperatures, changes in rain patterns, and extreme weather conditions.
The initiative, announced as part of the launch of the university's $3 billion fundraising campaign, Fuel Wonder, will also support key programs within the Indigenous Resilience Center, including Indigenous Food, Energy, and Water Security and Sovereignty, the Native FEWS Alliance, IndigeSEEDS (run by Michael Kotutwa Johnson, assistant specialist in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment), and Indigenous Mapping and Data. Additionally, the project will allocate grants to support various environment-related tribal efforts and collaborate with the University of Arizona's Water and Energy Sustainable Technology Center to assist tribal communities in acquiring future funding and resources through a new grant writing specialist.