Anna and Derrick speak with NIkki Cooley about reservation food and returning to native ways of eating.
Nikki Cooley is of the Diné (Navajo) Nation and resides in Northern Arizona. She is of the Towering House Clan, born for the Reed People Clan, maternal grandparents are of the Water That Flows Together Clan & paternal grandparents are of the Manygoats Clan. Nikki has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in forestry from Northern Arizona University with an emphasis on traditional/Indigenous knowledges. She speaks and teaches her children the Diné language and culture.
Professionally, she is co-manager of ITEP’s Tribes & Climate Change Program and interim assistant director of ITEP, whose goal is to strengthen tribal capacity and sovereignty in environmental and natural resource management through culturally relevant education, research, partnerships, and policy-based services. She works across the continental US and Alaska on outreach and trainings related to climate-change adaptation, mitigation, and resilience planning with Tribal/Indigenous partners to assist Tribal Nations in addressing and preparing for climate change impacts. ITEP works in partnership with various federal, nonprofit, academic, and community entities. In addition, she serves as an author on the Human Health Chapter for the upcoming fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA) and was most recently featured as a speaker for the 2022 The Climate Reality Project training founded by Vice President Al Gore.