Tribal Youth Water Summit

Empowering Clean Minds for Cleaner Water

August 10-16, 2019 @ University of Oregon

Join us in Eugene, Oregon at the University of Oregon for a week-long leadership and education experience for tribal youth. Leadership comes in all forms, from speaking out to being an active citizen in your community. At the Changing Currents: Tribal Youth Water Summit, we will be exploring what it means to be the next generation of water leaders. The summit is intended to bring together like-minded tribal youth with a passion for water, natural resources, education and social action.

Topics and Activities include:

  • Tribal Worldview of Water: Explore Our Relationship Water

  • Other Uses of Water: Technical, Ground Water, Surface Water Business, Agriculture, and Power Generation 

  • Water as Medicine

  • Legal Complexity of Water: Tribal Rights, Law, Stewardship Responsibilities, Ancestral Rights, Treaty Rights

  • Social & Environmental Justice: What’s Your Response?

  • Field trips to water resource sites, including water reservoirs, a wildlife refuge, and to the beautiful Oregon Coast.

The Changing Currents Program will select 20-25 tribal youth ages 15-19 years old from Pacific Northwest tribes. The participants will be exposed to university life, classroom learning, and tribal water culture. The participants will also take field trips to water resources sites. Participants will be housed at the Native American Studies section and in the Kalapuya Illahi Residence Hall. Housing and meals will be provided for the selected participants, travel costs to and from the Tribal Youth Water Summit are on your own

Changing Currents is a program of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI). The Tribal Youth Water Summit is funded by private foundations. Later this year, ATNI will be hosting a Tribal Leaders Water Summit in September 2019.

 Applications are due June 25, 2019

Contact: Shirod Younker (Coquille/Coos) - - 503.789.6094

For More Information:

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Changing Current Water summits are inter-tribal convenings designed to bring together staff and leadership from Northwest Tribes and Native communities to foster dialogue & collaboration around common water interests and work toward a shared agenda.

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Our Vision & Path Forward

A primary goal of Changing Currents is to bring together Tribal leaders, Native and non-native community leaders, as well as partners who share a common concern for our precious water resources. Changing Currents: Tribal Water Summit began as an idea and concept of a few tribal water leaders that were inspired by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs leadership with the Deschutes River Conservancy. The thought being, if divergent interests such as those found on the Deschutes River could come together and work on common interests in that basin; why not replicate that on a state, regional and national level.  Changing Currents is growing beyond a mere pilot project to an annual event, hub connecting NW tribal water leaders, and hopefully a movement for our state, region, and Indian Country.



Summits & Events



Changing Currents Tribal Water Summit
Event details TBD — 2019
College of Law
University of Idaho - Moscow, ID

Changing Currents Tribal Youth Summit
Event details TBD — 2019
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR

Changing Currents Oregon Tribes Meeting
Event details TBD — 2019


Past Summits & Meetings

2017 Changing Currents Tribal Water Summit
August 2017 at Knight Law School
University of Oregon - Eugene, OR

Changing Currents Tribal Water Summit
June 2018 at Intellectual House
University of Washington - Seattle, WA

Stay up-to-date about future Changing Currents summits and events.