Katrina, Maria, & Sandy: Climate Justice is a Feminist Issue Panelists
Iakowi:he’ne’ Oakes is a Kanien:ke’ha’/Mohawk women, mother, leader, advocate, producer, coach, artist, designer and athlete. She is the Founder and Director of the North American Indigenous Center of New York: (for) Culture, Equity and Economic Development. The CEO of Mohawk Coterie at Mohawkcoterie.com. She was born and raised in Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, a reservation that straddles the border of New York, Ontario ad Quebec. Her experience and intentions are focused on Nation building, maintaining, and strengthening sovereignty; stewardship, economic development, social justice, culture, and the arts.
Iakowi:he’ne’, was raised from an early age to stand and protect. From a young age she participated in conflicts led by the Rotisken’rakéhte versus the US and Canadian governments over land and environmental protection. Rotisken’rakéhte is also known as the Mohawk Warrior Society. She is Kaneinkehake, they are the Keepers of the Eastern Door in the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. From the Oka Crisis, International Bridge shutdowns, Idle No More, Two Row Wampum Renewal, NODAPL, The Climate March, and Land Back movement she has been organizing and advocating from grassroots to the White House.
Who she is, Rotisken’rakéhte and this means Awareness, Unity and Resistance. Her life’s purpose is to advocate for Onkwehonwe 1) Freedom 2) Peace 3) justice. Iakowi:he’ne’ means “She organizes and/or Gathers People”, she is always forging forward. While doing so she applies the Kaienarakowa/the Great Law of Peace, and Kariwiio/the Good Mind principles and practices to all she does.
Tamara Toles O’Laughlin
Tamara Toles O’Laughlin is a national climate strategist and environmental advocate focused on people and the planet. Her niche in environmental work is developing capacity-building programs and creating multimedia campaigns to dismantle privilege and increase opportunities for vulnerable populations to access healthy air, clean energy, and a toxic-free economy at the local, regional and national level. Tamara has worked for two decades to embed the principles of environmental justice into environmental work, with attention to community capacity building, mobilization, equity in enforcement, and environmental health.
Tamara casts a wide net in service to community. Among her activities, she is a co-chair of the Green Leadership Trust, is a member of the World Economic Forum, National Cities executive working group, has just concluded a two-year term as Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Air and Climate Public Advisory Committee, and serves as the chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Women’s Voices for the Earth based in Missoula, Montana. Most recently, Tamara was the former North American Director at 350.org, where she drove regional strategy in the United States and Canada. As the leader of 350’s programming she led mission critical work and organizational investments to build a multiracial, multi-generational climate movement capable of holding leaders accountable to science and justice.
Tamara is a thought leader working across sectors to support inclusive climate change action often appearing in national and international media outlets. She serves on the Advisory Board of Climate Power 2020, and is a member of Politico’s sustainability forum, The Long Game, where she provides insight on issues of climate change and social responsibility.
She graduated from the Vermont Law School in 2009, with a Juris Doctor and Master of Environmental Law and Policy with a concentration in energy generation and carbon constraint.
Yang is a 19-year-old multimedia artist, spokeswoman, and steering committee member for Youth United for Climate Crisis Action (YUCCA) from the Diné – Navajo Nation.
YUCCA (Youth United for Climate Crisis Action) is coordinated by Earth Care — a New Mexico nonprofit that trains young activists in social and environmental justice organizing and supports intergenerational campaigns to advance climate justice, transformative education, sustainability, democracy, and civil rights.
The YUCCA Steering Committee is comprised of young leaders trained in organizing who represent the diverse communities of northern New Mexico including Indigenous, Latinx, Chicanx, and low-income communities. In addition to raising awareness and building public pressure for action on climate change, their members have made solution building a priority.