3/23/2011 First Person Radio


Tom B.K. Goldtooth is the executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network based at Bemidji, Minnesota. An enrolled Navajo, he has been awarded with recognition of his achievements throughout the past 35 years as an activist for social change within the Native American community. He served as the Executive Director of the St. Paul American Indian Center in the early 1980’s.

In St. Paul, Goldtooth developed the American Indian Family and Children Services, with the establishment of a state-licensed Native foster care program. From his leadership at Red Lake Nation addressing tribal environmental equity concerns with a lack of federal appropriations in supporting tribal-based environmental protection to the First National People of Color Environmental Justice Leadership Summit in 1991 in Washington D.C. to the 2010 World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia and the recent United Nations Convention on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico, Tom Goldtooth has become an environmental justice leader, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

In 2000, he co-produced an award-winning documentary film, Drumbeat for Mother Earth, which addresses the affects of bio-accumulative chemicals on Native people. Tom is a Sun Dance leader and active in his ceremonial responsibilities. He is known for implementing innovative approaches for inspiring Native young people and students to take leadership in building healthy and sustainable Native communities.
to read the text of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, please visit:


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Air Date: 
March 23, 2011

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