International Institute for
Indigenous Resource Management

OHANA (Our Family)

The International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management ohana, the Hawaiian term for family, is a culturally diverse, multi-talented group of people spread over the face of the globe. Whether student or professor, whether geophysicist or anthropologist, what these people have in common is that they've spent some time at the Institute's offices in Denver, worked with us, and found our efforts to establish and enhance indigenous peoples' control over and management of their lands and resources worthy of their continuing support. Their experience, skills, and knowledge are the Institute's stock in trade..

Our interns are the youngsters of the family, but they are young only because they are generally new to the issues they've been assigned to research. You'll note, as you read their biographies, our interns actually bring a wealth of experience, training, and unique perspectives to their research assignments. And, although you won't read this in their biographies, over the past five years, two of these interns have been grandmothers. Among the people who passed some time at the Institute as interns are an intellectual property rights lawyer on Wall Street, an assistant professor of geography in Japan, a tribal treaty negotiator in Aotearoa (New Zealand); and an owner-operator of a pasty shop in Wisconsin. On a professional level, Institute staff and associates communicate and collaborate with former interns on a regular basis. On a personal level our colleagues are our friends and some are like family.

The kaumatua (a Maori word roughly equivalent to elders) of our ohana is distinguished company of directors, associates, and advisors. These include a Choctaw environmental economist based in the South of France, a Maori architect and environmental consultant in Auckland, a vice president of a water engineering company in Denver, and the director of the environmental sciences and technologies programs office of an Indian tribe in the Pacific Northwest.