Gathering - header

Gathering - reignite practice

Gathering - reignite practice

Reigniting age-old practices

Tribal communities have always traded goods, stories, crops, and seeds, and the gatherings reignite this tradition. Now, intertribal elders, community leaders, and cultural experts come together twice a year to share knowledge and work together to protect the Colorado Plateau's ecology, food systems, watersheds, and sacred sites. Learn more ›

Gathering - Trust supported

Tribal participants are the drivers of the gathering process and have identified four key areas of focus:

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Areas of Focus

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Practice water conservation through spring restoration and dry-farming techniques


Preserve songs, stories, and teachings that perpetuate land protection ethics


Develop networks, resources, and tools for effective, long-term protection of sacred sites


Support better health by revitalizing traditional farming, foods, and exercise  

Gathering - Honoring the Old Ways

Honoring the old ways

At the gatherings, elders teach young people traditional farming, harvesting, and food preparation as tools to adapt to climate change. Farmers share knowledge of dry-farming techniques and natural pesticides that have been used for generations across the Colorado Plateau. Meet master farmer Rosemary Williams ›


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Our young farmers are confused by rising temperatures, drying springs, volatile wind patterns, and genetically modified seeds invading our communities. Our best chance at survival is to preserve our ancient knowledge. 

–Tony Skrelunas,  Intertribal Gatherings facilitator

Gathering - participating tribes

Participating tribes

The Intertribal Gatherings include tribes from and around the Colorado Plateau, including:

Kaibab-Paiute, Hualapai, Havasupai, Navajo, Hopi, Ute Mountain Ute, Southern Ute, Uinta Ouray Ute, White Mountain Apache, Zuni, and the Cocopah and Acoma Pueblo tribes.

Gathering - Inter Tribal Learning Center

Gathering - Inter Tribal Learning Center

Intertribal Learning Center

Located at the Moenkopi Legacy Inn in Tuba City, the Colorado Plateau Intertribal Learning Center features a large classroom with interactive video, audio, and exhibit space. The pavilion hosts the Painted Desert Farmers Market in the summer, as well as the annual Unity through Sustainability Festival. Learn more ›


Gathering - opportunity fund

Gathering - opportunity fund

Opportunity Fund

Born from conversations at the gathering, the Colorado Plateau Intertribal Opportunity Fund supports projects of Colorado Plateau tribes, communities, and organizations that address at least one of four key issues: water, health, sacred sites, and language and culture.

Gathering - youth council

Gathering - youth council

Youth Leadership Council

Gathering participants, recognizing the importance of including tribal youth in the gathering process, created a Youth Subcommittee to rejuvenate communication between youth and elders. The Youth Leadership Council works to support transmission of traditional knowledge through events for tribal youth.

Intertribal Gatherings Blog


We caught up with Sunny Dooley at a recent gathering to hear her ideas on why it’s important for tribes to get together, escaping the “non-profit industrial complex,” and caring for bloated goats.

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Fourteen contemporary Puebloans eliminated all pre-European contact foods, including sugar, alcohol, wheat, beef, chicken, and even chili.

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Native people from across the Southwest and from as far away as Canada and South America attended the first-ever Indigenous Peoples’ Gathering for Healthy Communities, Culture, and Climate.

Read More

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Our Strategies

Gathering - our strategies

Secure Funding

The guidance and vision for the gathering come from the tribes. The Trust finds resources to help them implement their work in their communities.

Identify Priorities

Gathering participants consider dealing with climate change on the ground, with an emphasis on teaching dry-farming techniques, as their top priority.

Build Networks

Gatherings recreate an age-old tradition of trading and sharing goods, knowledge, and stories between tribes across the Colorado Plateau. 

Copyright © 2017 Grand Canyon Trust