Meet our delegation to the 23rd UNPFII
Images of the IEN Delegates to the 23rd United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

IEN Spokesperson List at the 2024 23rd Session of UNPFII

IEN has an 11-member delegation, representing youth, organizers, activists, scholars, human rights experts, and long-time Indigenous advocates active in the United Nations arena. This delegation comes from various Indigenous communities across Turtle Island and South America, including Alaska, Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, California, and Brazil.

Panganga Pungowiyi, Climate Geoengineering Organizer

Panganga Pungowiyi is an Indigenous mother from Sivungaq, located on Dena ina lands in so called Anchorage, AK. Panganga has been involved in many grassroots efforts seeking justice for Indigenous people including efforts to protect lands and water from extractive industry, MMIWG, and DVSA against Indigenous Womxn. Social justice and healing are recurring themes woven within Panganga’s personal and professional life. Many years were spent developing and hosting communal healing spaces for historical trauma and Colonial oppression, and most recently Panganga began training as a Tribal Healer in the so-called Bering Strait Region. Healing, justice and advocacy continues in Panganga’s role at IEN as the Climate Geoengineering Organizer. 

Claire Charlo, Indigenous Feminisms Organizer

Claire Charlo is a member of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes from the Flathead Reservation in Montana. Claire was homeschooled and taught cultural lessons on medicinal plants, Salish language, beading, tanning deer hides for regalia and moccasin making. At a young age, she began her spiritual learning with song, traditional knowledge and practices and winter ceremony. She graduated from Cornell College, in Iowa, with a double Bachelors in Women and Ethnic Studies. Claire went on to University of Arizona School of Law and graduated with a Juris Doctorate. In 2021, she attended and graduated from The Berta Cáceres International Feminist Organizing School. While working full-time as a Civil Advocate for the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribal Defenders, she served on the board of the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, directing a legal self-help clinic for ten years while simultaneously raising awareness for MMIW/R and Indigenous environmental justice movements and actions. Now, the IEN Indigenous Feminisms Organizer, she identifies key issues in environmental justice that intersect with Indigenous matriarchy/feminism. Claire also raises awareness of MMIW/R and the connection between extractive industries and the violence against Earth. 

Morgan Brings Plenty, Digital Organizing Fellow

Morgan Brings Plenty (Owiskawin) is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Morgan worked previously as a Social Media Intern and youth organizer for Indigenous Environmental Network. Morgan is a longtime pipeline fighter and water protector. They have taken stands against the Keystone XL pipeline, Dakota Access Pipeline and to protect their tribes buffalo. Brings Plenty was one of the first youth since they were seventeen years old to stand up against Big Oil crossing their lands and has grown up in the environmental justice, Indigenous sovereignty, climate justice and human rights movements.

Annalee YellowHammer, Standing Rock Youth Council

Born and raised on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Annalee resides in the Long Soldier community.

Annalee graduated from Standing Rock Community High School in 2022. They are a former student at Sitting Bull College, pausing their education to become a full-time certified caretaker of their special needs nephew. Nonetheless Annalee is an Indigenous activist and grassroots organizer in their community and in 2016, when the “Rezpect Our Water ” Campaign began, Annalee took an active role as youth to spread awareness and got 1 million signatures in opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Annalee is one of the original runners with “Oceti Sakowin Runners” that ran from the Sacred Stone Camp to Washington D.C. Eight years now, Annalee has stood strong in grassroots efforts to shut down DAPL. As a Standing Rock Youth Council member, they have organized youth events across Standing Rock for various issues, awareness building and the well being of Standing Rock youth.  

Maya Runnels, President of the Standing Rock Youth Council

Maya is a 22 years old Indigenous activist and grassroots organizer, Maya is Hunkpapa, Sicangu, and Oglala Lakota Bands. A mother to a beautiful baby girl that is 1 ½ years old, they also graduated from Sitting Bull College with an Associates in Nursing Science. Maya is currently working for Mni Wichoni Health Circle as a birth and end of life worker. In 2016, Maya participated in support of the Camps Opposing DAPL. The Standing Rock Youth Council (SRYC) was created because of the need for youth to have their own Representation in movement spaces. Maya helped coordinate pivotal events across Standing Rock on various issues and well being of Standing Rock youth. 

Shyrlene Oliveira da Silva Huni Kui, Indigenous Activist and Scholar from the Amazon

Indigenous activist and PhD in plant production from the Federal University of Acre; Shyrlene was recently accepted into the post doc program at the University of British Columbia – Vancouver CA.

Chief Ninawa Huni Kui, Hereditary Chief for the Huni Kui Indigenous Peoples from the Amazon

Chief Ninawa Huni Kui is a hereditary Chief of the Huni Kui Indigenous people of the Amazon, the elected president of the Huni Kui Federation of the State of Acre and a Wall International Indigenous Scholar.


He is a healer and an activist for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and he represents 118 communities along the rivers Envira, Tarauacá and Jordão in the Amazon with a population of approximately 16,500 people. Chief Ninawa draws attention to false solutions to climate destabilization and is a strong advocate for centering Indigenous rights, livelihoods and reparations in the climate agenda. As an ambassador for his people who travels all over the world, Ninawa is also involved in agroforestry and the fight against the financialization of carbon and nature.

Waniya Locke

Waniya Locke is from the Ahtna Dene, Dakota, Lakota, and Anishinaabe tribes. Ahtna Dene, 

Waniya currently resides on Standing Rock. Waniya is a mother of three and an Indigenous Birth Worker Advocate. She is aLakota Language revitalization and reclamation advocate and core community organizer on Standing Rock on opposing Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) since 2016. Waniya has helped with events such as horse rides, runs, and youth-led events in ending Fossil Fuels and False Solutions. 

Alberto Saldamando, Counsel on Human Rights and Climate Change

Alberto is Xicano/Zapoteca and is an internationally acknowledged expert on human and Indigenous rights representing Indigenous Peoples, organizations and communities from various countries from many regions of the world, before UN and other international human rights bodies including: International Labor Organization; Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Alberto began his climate change work with IEN in 2009 at the UNFCCC COP15 and currently serves as IEN’s head of delegation to UNFCCC Conferences of Parties and related fora. Alberto served as General Counsel of International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) for 18 years, and is very proud of his very active participation in the negotiations leading to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the establishment of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and the initial mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Alberto was accredited as an Expert by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (2014) and elected by UN accredited Non-governmental Organizations as their representative to the International Steering Committee of the World Conference Against Racism (1998-2001). Alberto serves on the Board of the Rainforest Action Network and is bilingual in Spanish and English. Alberto is an expert on the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, Indigenous Rights, Human Rights, and Water Rights and issues. 

Tamra Gilbertson, Climate Justice Program Coordinator

Tamra L Gilbertson, MPH, PhD, is an activist, researcher, writer, and scholar. A contractor with IEN from 2017 to 2020, in August 2023 she marked her third anniversary as the IEN Climate Justice Program Coordinator. In her current role, she develops curricula and holds workshops on carbon markets, false solutions, the Climate Crisis and the consequences to Indigenous communities and cultures. For more than twenty years she has allied with social movements and international networks fighting for  social, environmental, and climate justice. She earned a doctorate at the University of Tennessee, Department of Sociology. As a US Fulbright recipient, she conducted research on carbon markets, coal mining and conservation impacts in the Caribbean regions of Colombia. She was previously a founder and co-director of Carbon Trade Watch and former project coordinator of the Environmental Justice Project of the Transnational Institute, frequently coordinating with IEN. She continues to act as a strategic point person between Indigenous Peoples Organizations, activist-scholar networks, NGOs, ally and community organizations. Tamra is committed to field research, radical education and has authored several academic articles, book chapters and reports. She speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese. Tamra’s key areas of work include the fight to dismantle the policy barriers to achieving climate justice including:  carbon markets, carbon offsets, false solutions, climate finance, and gender, racial and social justice.

Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director 

Tom Goldtooth, of the Diné and Dakota Peoples, is the Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), the oldest Indigenous-based and grassroots network working on environmental, energy, climate and economic justice issues in North America, including the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Tom has led the Indigenous delegation of IEN within the UN Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since COP04 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1998. Tom and IEN participated in the formation of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) in 2008. The IIPFCC functions as the caucus of Indigenous Peoples participating in the UNFCCC COPs. Tom has been awarded with recognition of his achievements throughout the past 32 years as a change maker within the environmental, economic, energy and climate justice movement. From the strength of his community organizing and leadership he brought the local issues of the rights of Indigenous Peoples related to the environmental protection of land, water, air and health to the national and international levels. From his participation and leadership in 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 to the recent co-formation of the US-based Green New Deal Network and the United Frontline Table and its People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy platform, he has been on the forefront of key moments fighting for systemic change. He co-produced in 1991 an award-winning documentary film, Drumbeat for Mother Earth, addressing the effects of the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of toxic chemicals in the natural food web and bodies of Indigenous Peoples. In 2007, Tom co-founded the Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace lifting up the spiritual- cultural values and ethics of water policy. Tom initiated the first international Indigenous conference on the rights of Mother Earth in 2012 at the Haskell Indian Nations University and serves as a member of the Global Alliance of the Rights of Nature. Tom wrote the IEN Indigenous Principles of Just Transition as an organizing tool, using Indigenous Original Instructions as the foundation for building sustainable and healthy Indigenous communities. Tom is a recipient of numerous awards including the 2015 Gandhi Award and in 2016 was presented Sierra Club’s highest recognition, the John Muir award. Tom is a Sun Dance leader and active in his ceremonial responsibilities and is a father, grandfather and great-grandfather.


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