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