Vice President Jonathan Nez, Navajo Nation
VP Nez Jonathan Nez represented Shonto, Oljato, Tsah Bii Kin and Navajo Mountain on the Navajo Council before becoming the Vice President of Navajo Nation.
Mr. Nez is a member of the Navajo Nation and from Shonto, AZ. He is born into the Áshįįhí (Salt People Clan) and born for the Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle Clan). Jonathan’s maternal grandfathers are Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan) and his paternal grandfathers are the Táchii’nii (Red-Running-Into-The-Water Clan).
Nez has a Bachelors degree in Political Science, a Masters degree in Public Administration, and a Certificate in Public Management, all acquired from Northern Arizona University. He currently serves as a Supervisor for Navajo County District 1, which includes all, or portions of, the communities of Shonto, Kayenta, Chilchinbeto, Forest Lake, Black Mesa, Piñon, Low Mountain, Blue Gap/Tachee, Whippoorwill Springs, White Cone, Greasewood Springs, Indian Wells, and Sun Valley.
In the past, Nez has served as the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Navajo County Board of Supervisors in 2013 and 2012, and he currently serves at the Vice-Chairman of the Navajo Nation Council’s Budget and Finance Committee.
He has worked closely with President Russell Begaye on the issues surrounding the waste water spill.
Duane “Chili” Yazzie, Shiprock Chapter President
Yazzie is a Navajo farmer, activist, and politician who currently represents the Shiprock Chapter, the largest Navajo chapter, as its President. The Shiprock community was strongly affected by the Gold King Mine Waste Water Spill. Learn more about his very interesting background and influence in Indian Country. His website is duanechiliyazzie.com
Barry Lampke, Project Mgr. Voices for the Lake
Barry Lampke is project manager for Voices for the Lake, a faith and science partnership dedicated to environmental stewardship. Project partners All Souls Interfaith Gathering and ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain have worked over the past year with more than 65 organizations, forming a network dedicated to creating a culture of clean water.
This initiative builds on nationally recognized work of the Voices for the Lake project, including a collection of geolocated and indexed stories from the public about Lake Champlain.
Lampke has served as Director of the Champlain Initiative, a multi-sector public health coalition, Development and Communications Director for Smart Growth Vermont, Marketing Project Manager for Efficiency Vermont and Executive Director of the Association of Vermont Recyclers. In Washington, DC, he worked with the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund on its groundwater protection book, The Poisoned Well, and for OMB Watch where he created the nation’s first Community Right-to-Know project on industrial emissions and chemical accident prevention.
Tommy Rock, Rock Environmental Consulting
Rock is a member of the Navajo Nation from Monument Valley, Utah. His clans are the Salt clan, born for the Many Goats clan. His maternal grandfather’s clan is the Bitter Water clan. His paternal grandfather’s clan is the Reed People clan. He is the currently the first one from his family to pursue a post-baccalaureate degree.
Many of his relatives were involved in uranium mining around Monument Valley in the past and died of cancer associated with their mining labor. These personal connections to Navajo health concerns related to arsenic and uranium exposure inspired Rock to work towards a Ph.D. in Earth Science and Environmental Sustainability. He hopes to develop his own program of research that focuses on Environmental Health in Indigenous communities. He seeks a multidisciplinary approach to solving complicated issues such as sustainability in the Southwest from a Native American perspective. He has supported a project for the Center for American Indian Resilience (CAIR) at Northern Arizona University to start a dialogue on traditional Indigenous food contamination and policy development using Navajo Fundamental Law. He has collaborated with the Forgotten People, a grassroots organization that focuses on social and environmental justice on the western region of the Navajo Nation.
Rock has founded Rock Environmental Consulting in Arizona and currently is a research assistant and doctoral candidate in the School of Earth Science and Environmental Sustainability at Northern Arizona University. He has worked with the Native Learning Center and Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency.
Janene Yazzie, Founder and CEO of Sixth World Solutions
Janene Yazzie received her BA in Political Science with an emphasis on International Relations and Human Rights at Columbia University. She is the founder and CEO of Sixth World Solutions, and she has recently worked with Navajo communities and the Yellow Water Project to address the GoldKing Mine Waste Water Spill.
Yazzie’s passion for social and environmental justice, human rights, and sustainable development has been shaped by eleven years of experience working with communities and organizations that serve Indigenous people. She has developed the skills to work with local community members and leaders as well as the heads of state, national, and international organizations to improve service delivery and program effectiveness. As an avid self-learner she is currently doing research on creating an alternative market economy based on Navajo epistemology, while also learning computer programming and quantum mechanics.
Having attended Columbia University while working full time to support herself and co-founding the development of a New York based Indigenous Think Thank, the Tecumseh Institute Inc., she learned how to multi-task and thrive in high stress situations. She uses her unique insight and experiences to create an innovative approach to the complex economic, educational, and technological challenges confronted by disadvantaged communities. Her skills include strategic-forward planning, crisis management, target-setting and solution building, conducting workshops/work sessions and panels, producing brochures, educational pamphlets, and networking using social media.