We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, but borrow it from our children.
-Native American Proverb
The Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands (ESIL) certificate is an exciting new educational opportunity at the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver), where the term Indigenous includes Native American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Hawaiian Native. This first-of-its-kind program provides training, internships, and job placement opportunities for students interested in environmental issues involving tribal and non-tribal entities.
The ESIL certificate is available to current CU Denver undergraduate students, post-baccalaureate, and transfer students. While the certificate is open to students from all educational backgrounds, ESIL targets students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), with special emphasis on biology, civil engineering, and geography and environmental sciences. Accordingly, the ESIL certificate includes a broad and rigorous selection of STEM coursework as shown under Certificate Requirements.
Professional training, including extracurricular activities and internships, is what makes the ESIL certificate unique. The extracurricular activities provide students with culturally-relevant training in topics such as tribal sovereignty, environmental law, transcultural compentency, and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). Both the STEM curriculum and these professional skills are brought to bear during internships in which students practice facilitation as tribal liaisons with partner organizations including Indigenous tribes, and tribal and non-tribal government agencies.
Housed on CU Denver's downtown campus, students in the ESIL certificate will enjoy opportunities to participate in the vibrant Indigenous student communities at CU Denver, including the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), the Native American Student Organization (NASO), the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) student organization. CU Denver has the most diverse student body in the Univeristy of Colorado system, with strong representation across races, cultures, religions, and identities.
The ESIL certificate provides a unique training opportunity for students to combine a passion for protecting natural resources with a desire to communicate across diverse cultures and schools of thought. We hope you will join us in this exciting educational opportunity!
Jackson Obsorn, Engineering, at graduation (2017)
American Indian Student Services booth at a campus event