Breakfast and Settling In (10:00 AM - 10:20 AM)

Introductions and Land Acknowledgment (10:20 AM - 10:45 AM)

  • Speakers

    Vic Hogg - MPP Candidate, Harvard Kennedy School
    Vic Hogg is an enrolled citizen of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, and a Master of Public Policy student at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. They have a degree in Psychology from Yale University. For the last four years, they have designed and delivered leadership programs to strengthen marginalized communities' abilities to self-determine the solutions to their greatest issues, working with survivors of trafficking, high school youth, and neighborhood-based activists. They have also worked in food access and education for adults with developmental disabilities. They are passionate about advancing indigenous sovereignty and advocating for land reparations for U.S. tribes. 

    Jason Packineau - Interim Executive Director, Harvard University Native American Project
    Jason Packineau is an enrolled citizen of the Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara) of North Dakota and is also from the Pueblo of Jemez and the Pueblo of Laguna. Prior to joining the HUNAP office, Jason helped build the Student Development Program for Native American students enrolled at the University of New Mexico's Health Sciences Center. During his time at the University of New Mexico he conducted outreach to tribal communities on behalf of the university and served as the Staff Advisor for two graduate Native American student groups. Mr. Packineau made the shift from K-12 education to higher education after spending seven years in Washington, DC as a teacher in DC Public Schools.

Panel 1: Resistance and Activism (10:45 AM - 12:00 PM)

Indigenous people - especially Indigenous youth - are leading the way on holding power to account on the climate crisis. From Standing Rock to Line 3, from the Guajajara to the Gidimt’en Checkpoint, a robust set of resistance strategies have emerged that center a healing perspective rooted in cultural values across hundreds of different indigenous communities.

  • Speakers

    Clayton Thomas-Müller - Senior Campaign Specialist at
    Clayton Thomas-Müller is a member of the Treaty #6 based Mathias Colomb Cree Nation also known as Pukatawagan located in Northern Manitoba, Canada. Based in Winnipeg, Clayton is a senior campaign specialist with Clayton is involved in many initiatives to support the building of an inclusive global movement for energy and climate justice. He serves on the board of the Bioneers and the Wildfire Project. He has been recognized by Yes Magazine as a Climate Hero and is featured as one of ten international human rights defenders in the National Canadian Museum for Human Rights. He has campaigned across Canada, Alaska and the lower 48 states organizing in hundreds of First Nations, Alaska Native and Native American communities to support Indigenous Peoples to defend their territories against the encroachment of the fossil fuel industry with a special focus on stopping the expansion of the Canadian tar sands and its associated pipelines. Clayton is a campaigner, award winning film director, media producer, organizer, facilitator, public speaker and best selling author on Indigenous rights and environmental & economic justice.

    Brook Thompson - Native Scholar
    Brook Thompson is a Yurok and Karuk Native American from Northern California. Currently, she is a master's student at Stanford University in the Environmental Engineering program, focusing on water resources and hydrology. In 2020, she graduated from Portland State University's Honors College with a degree in Civil Engineering and a minor in Political Science. Brook has been an intern for the City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services, The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, West Yost Associates Engineering, Save California Salmon, and the California Water Resource Control Board. She is a Gates Millennium Scholar, UNITY 2020 25 Under 25 Recipient, and a 2017 Undergraduate AIGC Student of the Year Awardee among other honors. Her goal is to bring together water rights and Native American knowledge through engineering, public policy, and social action. Current fights include undamming the Klamath River, denying the Jordan-Cove LNG pipeline, MMIW awareness, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), and supporting women and Natives in STEM fields.

    Shilpa Joshi - MC/MPA Candidate, Harvard Kennedy School
    Shilpa Joshi is an organizer and coalition builder. Prior to graduate school, she worked on local and national climate and immigration justice issues as a community organizer and lobbyist for 14 years. For the last four years, she was the Coalition Director for Renew Oregon, where she worked with progressive organizations, labor unions, and Tribes to advocate for comprehensive climate policy in Oregon. She also serves as the Board Chair for the National Queer Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance, the only national LGBT Asian advocacy organization in the United States. She earned her Bachelor's degree in International Environmental Policy from American University. 

Panel 2: Knowledge Production, Art, and Media (1:00 PM - 2:15 PM)

Indigenous communities who live close to and understand their ecosystems have seen the effects of climate change for decades. Scholars, artists, poets, writers, and more have been speaking to these impacts through art, media, and academic publications. This panel will highlight the various ways Indigenous artists are producing knowledge and influencing cultural shifts around climate change and environmentalism around the world. 

  • Speakers

    Charitie Ropati - Advocate for Indigenous Students' Education
    Charitie Ropati, a member of the Native Village of Kongiganak, is an advocate for Indigenous students’ education. She works to decolonize Western pedagogies in public education and address the dropout and graduation crisis of Indigenous students through Native-centric curricula. She attends Columbia University and was named a 2019 Center for Native American Youth Champion for Change. She is a research intern at the Geophysical Institute Permafrost Lab and the treasurer of Columbia University's Native American Council.

    Darcy Peter - Research Assistant at Woodwell Climate Research Center
    Darcy Peter supports the Woodwell Climate Research Center's Polaris Project. Her research primarily focuses on greenhouse gas emissions, permafrost thaw, and Arctic ecology. She is Gwich’in Athabascan from Beaver, Alaska, and grew up living a subsistence way of life: fishing, hunting, and trapping in Beaver. She received her B.S. from Fort Lewis College. Following her graduation in 2017, Peter worked for Alaska Native non-profits, in environmental science, policy, and social science. She has a broad understanding of Arctic policy, including tribe, city, corporate, state, academic, federal, non-profit, etc.

    Alex Flaherty - Founder and Owner of Polar Outfitting
    Alex Flaherty was raised in Grise Fiord, Nunavut. Alex, who grew up hunting and camping with his father and extended family, developed a passion for the outdoors at a young age. Following graduation from Arctic College’s Environmental Technology Program in 2008, Alex began a career in environmental conservation and sustainability. For almost a decade, he worked for the Government of Nunavut’s Division of Fisheries and Sealing, teaching Nunavummiut the land-based skills needed to hunt and fish in the Arctic. In 2017, Alex started Polar Outfitting, a company with 100% Inuit staff that provides Inuit and non-Inuit alike the opportunity to experience Canada’s Arctic through the lens of traditional Inuit knowledge. In 2019, Polar Outfitting was named the Top Aboriginal Business of the Year at the Arctic Indigenous Investment Conference and represented Nunavut at the New York Times Travel Show. ​

    Seqininnguaq Poulsen - Indigenous Rights Activist and Artist
    Seqininnguaq Poulsen (they/them) is a 19-year-old Indigenous rights activist and artist. Their work focuses on decolonization, mental health, culture revitalization and education. Their past work includes collaborations with Inuit Circumpolar Council, UN Youth Envoy, Twitter, Global Indigenous Youth Caucus and others. Seqininnguaq is very passionate about their culture as an Indigenous Inuk from Greenland and enjoys spending their free-time on practicing their Indigenous culture.

    Liz Contreras - Ed.M Candidate, Harvard's Graduate School of Education
    Liz is a graduate student at Harvard's Graduate School of Education. She is completing her Ed.M degree in the Human Development & Education Program.

Panel 3: Governance (2:30 PM - 3:45 PM)

Indigenous communities worldwide are on the frontlines of the climate crisis, both bearing the brunt of the early effects and by necessity leading the way on adaptation. Just in the past few years, numerous communities have had to manage retreat from their former homes, such as the North Slope of Alaska and the Quinault in Washington. What lessons have emerged from how Indigenous leaders have managed the early years of the climate crisis? How might Kennedy School students and affiliates learn from the strategies being implemented by tribal governments and Indigenous leadership?

  • Speakers

    Carina Miller - Columbia River Gorge Commissioner 
    Carina Miller is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. She has a Bachelor of Science in Ethnic Studies from the University of Oregon. She served as the Wasco Tribal representative on the 27th Tribal Council of Warm Springs from 2016-2019. She is also a co-chair of the energy committee for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and the chair of the Native American caucus for the Democratic party of Oregon. She has served on the Columbia River Gorge Commission since 2019. 

    Donald Sampson - Executive Director, Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indians 
    Don Sampson newly returned to the role of Executive Director of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indians, which he also held from 2003-2010. He oversees all tribal government and business operations with over 1800 employees. Prior to that, he was the Climate Change Project Director for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, a consortium of 57-tribes in the Pacific Northwest. In 2015 he was one of 15 Indigenous representatives from North America at the Paris Climate Accords (COP21). Don was also the former Executive Director of the Institute of Tribal Government (2012-2017) part of the Center for Public Service at Portland State University. Mr. Sampson was the Chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon from 1994-1997. He was the Executive Director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission from 1997-2003. He is an enrolled citizen of the Umatilla Tribe.

    Nicholas Chischilly - Wildlife Technician, Climate Change Program, Navajo Nation
    Nicholas Chischilly is Diné (Navajo), and he is The-Water-Flows-Together Clan, born for Red-Running-Into-the-Water-People Clan. Chischilly is a Wildlife Technician for the Navajo Nation Climate Change Program, working directly with Navajo communities to help assist them in adapting to climate change. He received his bachelor's degree from Fort Lewis College, Colorado, and experienced multiple academic internships, and research experiences for undergraduates (REU). Chischilly continues to be intrigued by our environments and natural processes.   

    Keith Howard, Wildlife Technician, Climate Change Program, Navajo Nation 
    Keith Howard is a member of the Navajo Nation. He represents his mother's clan: Red Running into the Water People and was born for his father's clan: The Water Flows Together People. Growing up on the Navajo reservation, Howard lived a simple life and cared for the family's livestock. Later, He acquired his undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Natural Resources from Navajo Technical University. Howard is currently employed as a Wildlife Technician in the Climate Change Program with the Navajo Nation Department Fish and Wildlife. 

    Joel Chastain - MPA Candidate, Harvard Kennedy School
    Joel Chastain is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, with Laguna Pueblo and Navajo Nation heritage. Joel has devoted his career to developing his experience and knowledge in Native American affairs. Over the last decade, Joel has held various positions in the governmental and commercial divisions of the Chickasaw Nation, and most recently worked with appointed leadership on strategic development initiatives. Joel left the Chickasaw Nation for one year to complete a fellowship at the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C., advocating for tribal Nations through analysis and support of public policy that advances tribal interests. Joel has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Haskell Indian Nation University and currently finishing his MPA at Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government.

Closing Remarks (3:45 PM - 4:00 PM)


Native and Indigenous Caucus logo


Belfer Center Arctic Initiative Logo

Harvard University Native American Program logo

Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development

Opening Remarks & Panel 1: Resistance and Activism
Panel 2: Knowledge Production, Art, and Media
Panel 3: Governance & Closing Remarks

Summaries & Takeaways

Special thank you to Tess Kelly and Maya Pace for sharing their reflections.

Resources & Organizations