Southern Ute Tribal Seal

ELKS-Environmental Leadership and Knowledge Seminar

Environmental Leadership & Knowledge Seminar

“Power is not brute force and money; power is in your spirit. Power is in your soul. It is what your ancestors, your old people gave you. Power is in the earth; it is in your relationship to the earth.”
– Winona LaDuke, Ojibwe, Indigenous Leader, Author, and Environmentalist

What is ELKS?

ELKS stands for Environmental Leadership and Knowledge Seminar. ELKS is a program created by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Environmental Programs Division (EPD). ELKS is dedicated to creating a pathway to environmental awareness by educating Tribal Membership youth and local Native American youth of environmental issues and processes through hands-on demonstrations and field trips. ELKS will educate young tribal members of the community so they will know how important the environment is, and how the Tribe’s EPD is protecting the environment. Educating the youth on the importance of the environment is crucial to the longevity and sustainability of our natural resources just as Leonard C. Burch advocated for the SUIT’s water rights with the Animas-La Plata Project.

“I invite anyone who believes that one man can’t make a difference to take a drive southeast of Durango and witness what Leonard Burch helped create.”
–  Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Former Colorado U.S. Senator

2018 ELKS

This years ELKS Program will be held on July 24th and 25th. Please read the flyer below for more information.

2018 Elks Flyer
2018 ELKS Registration Medical Release Form

2017 ELKS

ELKS was held June 19 – June 20, 2017 at the Environmental Programs Division in Ignacio, Colorado. This two-day conference featured rockets, glowing science, climate change issues, and a field trip for electrofishing.

Water and Air Rockets

Glowing Luminescence demonstration

Land vs. Sea Glacier Meltdown

Field Trip to collect Macroinvertebrates with Fish & Wildlife

Examining Macroinvertebrates in the EPD lab

Recycling Relay Race

2016 ELKS

ELKS hosted its first conference in 2016 and focused on air quality and water quality. Check out the pictures below.


Demonstration on pH scale

Vehicle emissions demonstration

Forward looking infrared camera demonstration

Field trip to determine water quality

Collecting macroinvertebrates

Taking a closer look at macroinvertebrates