Tribal Stewards

Sage Brown   Website

ONDA’s tribal stewards program offers Native American young adults with deep ancestral ties to eastern Oregon’s public lands an introduction to conservation careers and provides hands‐on experience and opportunities for personal growth within a culturally relevant framework. This community‐designed project was created in partnership with Northwest Youth Corps, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Burns Paiute Tribe and federal agencies.

Through an immersive eight‐week field‐based program, participants restore streams, uplands and trails on federal and tribal lands and conduct scientific research. In addition to gaining practical restoration and research experience, the tribal stewards receive mentorship from natural resources professionals and gain a deep connection to the tribal and federally‐managed lands that make up their ancestral homeland.

This program, which offers paid positions with education awards upon completion, serves to address a growing disconnect with wild places among tribal young adults, underrepresentation in conservation and land management careers, and a lack of opportunity to gain professional skills needed to enter the natural resources field. For decades, ONDA has worked to protect and restore culturally significant public lands, and ONDA recognizes that to improve the effectiveness of this work, we must deepen our relationships with tribes and embrace their priorities.

voices

Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva, ODT thru-hiker 2017

Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva, ODT thru-hiker 2017

“To me, it’s a thru-hike in an isolated place that promotes a conversation in land management, ethics and usage. Hiking across a vast and remote landscape and having a random and chance encounter with cowboys and hunters to discuss how ‘all of us’ should treat the land, how we all have a responsibility, no matter our political leanings, really showed me the pulse of the people in rural areas, especially here out west.”

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Stewardship Pronghorn Fence

Stewardship Pronghorn Fence

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The Land Between: The Greater Hart-Sheldon Region

The Land Between: The Greater Hart-Sheldon Region

Lace Thornberg

Sage Brown

Sage Brown   Website

Our Aim

The goal of this program is to inspire tribal young adults to pursue careers in the conservation field while supporting the restoration of eastern Oregon wildlands.

Our intended outcomes include:
  1. Participants gain marketable career skills and forge new connections to place.
  2. Tribal members become better represented within the field of conservation.
  3. The on-the-ground work accomplished makes meaningful improvements to fish and wildlife habitat throughout Oregon’s high desert.