Where Are They Now: UNITY Earth Ambassador Alumni Profile:
Mrs. Direlle R. Calica. J.D. has over 20-years of experience as a legislative, policy, planning, and regulatory advisor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office-District of Oregon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Intertribal Organizations, and various Indian Tribes. Mrs. Calica has extensive professional experience in intergovernmental affairs, hydro-system planning, tribal economic development, tribal energy infrastructure policy, and tribal water policy.
She has also served as a White House Intern and Mark O. Hat-field Congressional Fellow in the U.S. Senate. Her professional background includes a Juris Doctorate with a focus on Business and Natural Resource policy. Mrs. Calica was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School in the Indian Law Program. Mrs. Calica also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Northwest Energy Coalition, the Oregon Native American Chamber, and Council Member for the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council. She is also a Bonneville Environmental Foundation (B-E-F) Board of Director, Emeritus. Mrs. Calica is the Managing Partner of Kanim Associates, LLC a Native American, women and Veteran owned company based in Portland, Oregon. Finally, she is a member of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) and the WSBA Environmental Law Section.
Changing Currents was founded upon the idea that water is a highly critical and invaluable resource for many tribal communities and is an inherent part of tribal culture, spirituality, and society. Tribes and Native communities view their relationship to the water and the inter-relation of natural resources as one of stewardship and reverence. This relationship to water is rooted in creation stories, prayer, and traditions that have been handed down from one generation to the next for countless generations. Tribes embrace a philosophy and responsibility “to leave the resource better than when you found it.” Today, the relationship and stewardship to water and natural resources is becoming difficult as the demands and pressures on these resources increases.
In August 2017, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) and several partners convened the first Changing Currents: Tribal Water Summit at the University of Oregon’s Knight Law Center. The summit brought together staff and leadership from Tribes across the Northwest to begin a dialogue around common water interests and opportunities at the state level.
Since that inaugural summit, Changing Currents as a project of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) has continued build interest and to create on-going summits focused on water resource protection topics and to develop a shared understanding of “common interests” or priorities.
The four-major common intertribal interests:
1) HEALTHY WATERS (WATER QUALITY & QUANTITY)
2) CULTURAL & SPIRITUAL CONNECTION TO WATER
3) DOCUMENT & SHARE TRIBAL WATER STORIES
4) PROTECTION OF TRIBAL WATER RIGHTS