Environmental Network Encompasses the GlobeMay 15th, 2005 | By tcj | Category: 16-4: International Indigenous Education, Tribal College News
The connection between Native peoples and water, air, land, forest, wildlife, and fish is vital to the well being of Native communities throughout the world. Impacts on the land have ecological, economic, physical, and spiritual ramifications.
Through international collaboration, indigenous people might be able to find the solutions to balance and sustainability more easily. That is the dream behind the American Indian Higher Education Consortium’s (AIHEC’s) effort to establish the Indigenous Environmental Higher Education Network (IEHEN).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funds IEHEN. The international network of indigenous environmental educators and leaders plans to address environmental education, protection, and management, according to AIHEC’s network coordinator Dan Burns. Through this forum, indigenous peoples across the Americas and the world can share their knowledge, he says.
Initially, the focus is upon the Western Hemisphere (North, Central, and South America). An advisory committee includes primarily indigenous leaders and educators from Canada, U.S., Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. A support committee made up of experts in various fields will assist in developing and implementing the network.
Currently, approximately 40 indigenous institutions of higher learning in Canada, the United States, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have joined the network and selected representatives. They also hope to include Mexico’s new indigenous university.
The new organization recently facilitated tribal college faculty and student research fellowships in Costa Rica as well as Fulbright scholars coming to teach at tribal colleges. An internet collaborative space has been established that will facilitate both synchronous and asynchronous communication between members.
For more information or to provide information, contact Dan Burns, IEHEN project coordinator, by phone (360) 319-2010 or email email@example.com.