Southwest: Walker River Paiute Tribe, University of Arizona
Crystal Miller is a PhD student at the University of Arizona in the American Indian Studies program with a double concentration in Natural Resources Management and Federal Indian Law & Policy. She has grown conversant with the problems of managing natural resources on American Indian reservations and off-reservation areas. In particular she has targeted her work to serve the Walker River Paiute Tribe, a place she calls home. Understanding that the environmental degradation is fueled, and under a major threat, by the effort of human activities from mining, agriculture, and other contributing factors, she hopes to influence and implement Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) as a theoretical approach and place-based education to help combat the negative impacts to natural resources in Indian Country. This knowledge she prioritizes, in educational context, challenges the heteropatriarchal underpinnings and works to reject narratives and theories that the land provides ownership. In doing this, she hopes to restore the ontological and epistemological knowledges of knowing in regard to the land and natural resources in order to continue the harmonious lifeways that Native peoples have as being one with the land.