Environmental Health and Justice Program

The EHJ Program integrates body, mind, and spiritual awareness into environmental justice advocacy, policy change, and community education while uplifting Indigenous and land-based families and oppressed Peoples to build grassroots leaders and community capacity. We engage in local, national, and international dialogue and activism on nuclear abolition, human rights, and the rights of our Earth Mother and Sky Father.

Environmental Health and Justice has been defined by our community as “our commitment to honor and protect the rights of ourselves, our habitat and the fair treatment of all living beings.”

Through the EHJ Program, we build community engagement to recognize Water as our First Environment (building on Katsi Cook’s concept of Woman as First Environment), and the interconnections between environmental and reproductive justice as well as the unique impacts on those most vulnerable in our Native communities.

Program Goals

We work with tribal, local, national, and international networks and coalitions to:

  • Amplify the strengths of Indigenous women, their families, and land-based peoples to grow Beloved Community
  • Protect our homelands from ecological harm
  • Facilitate reconnection with our everyday relational-tivity to land, air, and water as sacred aspects of our collective wellbeing
  • Engage in dialogue and activism on nuclear abolition, human rights, and the rights of Nung Ochuu Quiyo, Our Earth Mother, while integrating Tewa values and spirit-rooted environmental justice advocacy, policy change, and community education

We do this by:

  • Community education that supports environmental health and climate change adaptability through the creation of community gardens (such as the Española Healing Foods Oasis), heirloom seed libraries, non-GMO seed exchanges, traditional agriculture, bio and mycoremediation practices
  • Creating shifts toward decolonization by upholding the values of sharing and abundance; nonviolence; economic, social, and gender equity
  • Advocating for Nava To’I Jiya (Tewa: Land Worker Mother) as the universal standard for environmental protections.
  • Advocating for government and corporate accountability to populations who live downwind and down river of the nuclear war weapons industrial complex that occupies our sacred Jemez Mountains
  • Increasing community capacity to engage in public advocacy for environmental justice issues and carrying the voices of our communities into national and international networks
  • Providing a forum for networking and education on environmental justice issues between members of impacted communities and decision makers
EHJ Program News

February 2021: TWU is hiring for the EHJ Program Manager position. Click here for more info.


Current Campaigns

Food and Seed Sovereignty +

As part of the New Mexico Food and Seed Sovereignty Alliance (NMFSSA), we are vigilant in advocating for policy that uplifts our food and seed sovereignty.

Policy Win: In October 2019, Seed Library Youth and TWU put forth a Resolution to the City of Española in support of the NMFSSA’s Declaration of Food and Seed Sovereignty. It passed unanimously, showing the deep roots that all of our diverse Peoples share for our land-based values and beliefs. We are also working with the city to enact Genetically Engineered-free zones and implementation of these policies. This success built on previous years’ work to defeat HB61, a bill in the New Mexico state legislature that would have denied protection from genetically modified seeds and organisms.

Collaborations:

Nuclear Abolition and Non-Proliferation +

The Tewa people have lived with the forced occupation of Los Alamos National Laboratories since the beginning of the Manhattan Project in 1943 and the development of the first atomic bomb. The Indigenous and land-based Peoples of New Mexico were the first “unwilling and unknowing” victims of a nuclear blast, followed by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. We continue to endure the desecration and ongoing environmental violence from nuclear colonialism and militarization. Our vision is for the complete abolishment of nuclear weapons and dismantling of the nuclear war weapons industrial complex, with non-proliferation as a step toward this vision.

Current Actions

Hibakusha Appeal – sign the petition

Support the RECA (Radiation Exposure Compensation Act) amendment in solidarity with the Tularosa Downwinders Consortium

Please contact the Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Minority Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and ask them to set the date for the RECA Oversight Hearing.  Knowing the September hearing date will allow us to properly prepare for the hearing.  The hearing will be televised on C-SPAN and on the Judiciary Committee’s website.

Chairman Chuck Grassley, Senate Judiciary Committee
grassley@senate.gov or https://www.grassley.senate.gov/constituents/questions-and-comments  202 224-3744

Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, Senate Judiciary Committee
feinstein@senate.gov or https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me.  202 224-3841

Senate Judiciary Committee.  202 224-5225

Frack Off Chaco Coalition +

Frack Off Greater Chaco is a collaborative effort between Indigenous community leaders, Native groups, nonprofits, and public lands and water protectors across the southwest and the country working to stop fracking in Greater Chaco.