Dina Gilio-Whitaker

Lecturer, American Indian Studies, California State University San Marcos

Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes) is a lecturer of American Indian Studies at California State University San Marcos, and independent consultant and educator on indigenous environmental justice and other indigenous policy-related issues. She co-authored (with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz) "‘All the Real Indians Died Off’ and 20 Other Myths about Native Americans", and her current book, "As Long As Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice from Colonization to Standing Rock," was released from Beacon Press in April 2019. Dina is also a long time surfer, and works in the realm of critical surf studies (she was a contributor to the seminal "Critical Surf Studies Reader," Duke University Press, 2017), making connections between settler colonialism and surf culture as processes of indigenous erasure. Dina helped shape AB 1782, the bill to make surfing California's official state sport.

Dina is speaking at

October 11, 2019
9:00 am - 10:45 am
Grand Ballroom, CSU's Lory Student Center


  • Mayor Wade Troxell (Opening Remarks) City of Fort Collins
  • Juliet Eilperin (Moderator) Senior National Affairs Correspondent, The Washington Post
  • Whit Fosburgh (Speaker) TRCP
  • John Freemuth (Speaker) Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Cecil Andrus Endowed Chair of Environment and Public Lands, Boise State University
  • Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Speaker) Lecturer, American Indian Studies, California State University San Marcos
  • Shea Loper (Speaker) Director, U.S. Government Relations, Encana Corporation
  • William Perry Pendley (Speaker) Deputy Director, Policy and Programs, Bureau of Land Management, exercising authority of BLM director


The U.S. has a long and storied history of land conservation, which has created a network of public lands now managed in different ways. Since Europeans arrived, these lands have been fought over between those looking to preserve them and those hoping to open them up to development. These public lands now face threats from climate change, including drought and wildfire, along with budget and staff cuts. Recreational impacts, along with drilling and mining, are on the rise. Tribal officials are demanding a greater voice in federal decision-making, and Trump administration officials are scaling back regulations. What does the future hold for America's public lands?

This event will be live-streamed on Facebook.

October 12, 2019
10:45 am - 12:00 pm
Room 312, 3rd Floor, Lory Student Center


  • Theresa Braine (Moderator) Breaking News, National Desk, New York Daily News
  • Matt Brown (Speaker) The Associated Press
  • Ron Cohen (Speaker) Emeritus Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
  • Dan Elliott (Speaker) Associated Press
  • Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Speaker) Lecturer, American Indian Studies, California State University San Marcos


In August 2015, three million gallons of contaminated mining wastewater broke through a plug of rock and debris at the mouth of an entrance to the defunct Gold King Mine outside Silverton, Colorado, while EPA subcontractors were examining it for remediation purposes. The heavy-metals-laden water cascaded into a creek feeding the Animus River, turning it lurid orange, and from there gushed into the San Juan, which flows through several states and Native American nations, including the Navajo Nation. This is just one of thousands of abandoned mines in the Western United States leaking contaminated water, many of them Superfund sites. This panel will use the Gold King Mine spill to illustrate the scope of the problem and give tips on how to mine Superfund documents and archives for crucial environmental stories.

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