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CEED Hosts National Environmental Leaders in Twin Cities

CEED was honored to host Bill Gallegos and Chief Justice Emeritus Robert Yazzie this Spring in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Bill Gallegos is the Executive Director of Communities for a Better Environment in California (CBE), an environmental justice organization that works in the communities of Oakland, Los Angeles, Wilmington and Riverside areas of California. Mr. Gallegos spoke at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis, sharing his experience on how CBE and the California Environmental Justice Alliance successfully fought Chevron and won a major battle to stop the expansion of tar sands oil refinement in their communities. He also shared how they are continuing to fight for racial and economic justice in solar and climate change policies in the state. As part of his visit, Twin Cities indigenous and communities of color activists also met with Mr. Gallegos to dialogue around environmental justice issues and alliance building here in the Twin Cities. CEED would like to thank Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli, the Zenteotl Project and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the University of Minnesota for co-sponsoring Mr. Gallegos’ visit.Chief Justice Emeritus Robert Yazzie

As a part of CEED’s ongoing project,Community Restoration for Environmental Justice (CREJ), we hosted the Honorable Chief Justice Emeritus Robert Yazzie for two days in the Twin Cities. The Honorable Robert Yazzie is the former the Director of the Diné Policy Institute at Diné College. He shared his wisdom about traditional indigenous justice and governance to a full room of activists, students, academics, attorneys and community members at the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. He also presented on Diné (Navajo) philosophy on the environment, and how he has been working to codify these perspectives into policy. CEED staff had an intensive full day workshop with Justice Yazzie. In his presentations, he offered a poignant analysis of how Diné traditions address environmental harms, and the principles around which we can begin to understand and institutionalize the redress of these harms. In addition to his presentations, he visited with community members at the Minneapolis American Indian Center, and met with students at the Center of Indigenous Nations (COIN) at the University of Minnesota. We would like to thank Dr. Clint Carroll, COIN, the American Indian Studies Department at the University of Minnesota, and the Zenteotl Project for co-sponsoring the Honorable Yazzie’s visit to the Twin Cities. CEED is very excited to continue our work together.Our CREJ project also hosted a community dialogue with Native community members including elders, youth, educators, and environmental and food advocates to talk and share about our pressing environmental problems and how we can address these using Indigenous knowledge and practice. Stay tuned for future plans!