Photo splitting a tropical water line with fish below and an island above

About Nia Tero

Working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and movements worldwide

Lake and trees at the base of a mountain

Who We Are

Nia Tero is a US-based non-profit working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and movements worldwide. Our governing bodies, leadership and staff are of diverse non-Indigenous and Indigenous identities and life experiences. We view this diversity as a source of our strength as a bridging organization, committed to Indigenous self-determination and an inclusive culture guided by Indigenous wisdom, practices and protocols.

Our Purpose

Nia Tero provides lasting support to Indigenous peoples to protect their homelands from colonization and destruction, and we share Indigenous methods of care for the land with non-Indigenous communities.

A man with traditional face painting steers a motor boat through a river
A large crop growing in water at the base of a mountain

Our Mission & Vision

We understand guardianship as Indigenous peoples’ right, capacity, and acceptance of responsibility to sustain vital natural systems within their collective territories.

The above mission supports our vision of an Earth where Indigenous peoples defend and uphold the world’s thriving forests, oceans and grasslands; where their wisdom maintains vast geographies that underpin the well-being of all humanity; and where recognition and support for Indigenous identity equals that of Nation States and others in power.

Bow of a boat heading down a river edged with trees

Following Indigenous leadership and wisdom for the health of our planet. Providing lasting support to Indigenous peoples protecting their homelands.

Our Founding Story

In 2017, Conservation International Founder Peter Seligmann and a small group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders decided to launch a new, highly diverse organization devoted to supporting Indigenous peoples in their efforts to protect their ways of life and their territories. The impetus to start a new organization came from the founders’ realization that humanity’s fate is directly dependent upon the ability of national governments, and the public, to support Indigenous territorial rights and embrace Indigenous peoples’ understanding of the reciprocal relationship between all beings and the Earth. Our organization was founded with an inherently different approach than our peer environmental and social justice-driven NGOs – one that centers Indigenous peoples and their worldview from inception – not speaking for but rather in partnership with Indigenous peoples in support of the work already being done through Indigenous leadership to safeguard the Earth.

Our work is deeply grounded in Indigenous wisdom, practices, worldviews, and protocols. Our North Star is the foundational principle of reciprocity, which is the interdependency and relationship between the Earth, humanity and all other species. Like Shel Silverstein’s Giving Tree, the Earth has natural limits to her generosity. For her to sustain us, we must learn to give as well as take. Across all of our work, we honor and uphold the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

About Our Name

Nia Tero means “Our Earth” in Esperanto, a language created in the late 1800s to promote peace and harmony. Esperanto is a second language to all, first to none, allowing people who speak different native languages to communicate while retaining their own language and cultural identity. This concept of unity while upholding identity embodies the heart of Nia Tero.

Nia Tero
A single leaf, flower bud and two flower blooms

Advisory Council

The Nia Tero Advisory Council is comprised of experienced individuals guiding the growth of Nia Tero’s institutional culture and relationships towards a global set of partnerships that can amplify Indigenous Peoples’ voices and influence, secure thriving land and sea within their territories, and fulfill the Nia Tero mission.

Board of Directors

The Nia Tero Board of Directors is composed of the founding partners, other individuals of goodwill, and globally-recognized representatives of Indigenous peoples and local communities.

A leaf
Rocks stacked on top of one another

Staff

Nia Tero’s governing bodies, leadership, and staff are of diverse non-Indigenous and Indigenous identities and life experiences. We are committed to Indigenous self-determination and an inclusive culture guided by Indigenous wisdom, practices, and protocols.

Our Founding Partners

Strengthening Collaboration

Newsroom

Read the latest news about Nia Tero.

Delve into highlights and stories about Nia Tero and our partners around the world.

See All News & Press

November 16, 2021

PR Newswire

Indigenous Presence at COP26 Growing But Work Remains

Read

November 15, 2021

Scientific American

'COP26 Hasn’t Solved the Problem’: Scientists React to U.N. Climate Deal

Read

November 9, 2021

The New York Times

The Climate Summit Has Me Very Energized, and Very Afraid

Read
View of a colorful starry sky from the shore

Careers

Key to our mission is harnessing diverse perspectives, life experiences, and work experiences in an environment that promotes innovation, creativity, trust, and teamwork. We seek candidates who demonstrate passion for our goals, deep technical expertise, and an ability to excel in an organization with a global focus.