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

Nia Tero works in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples who sustain thriving territories and cultures to strengthen guardianship of Earth and all beings.

Our vision is of an Earth where Indigenous guardianship of thriving homelands and waters is ENABLED everywhere possible.

To contribute to this, over the next decade we will UPHOLD a network of place-anchored partnerships with Indigenous Peoples that demonstrate the power of Indigenous guardianship to sustain a vibrant Earth. Building upon and working alongside this network, we will also support efforts to EXPAND recognition and support for Indigenous guardianship globally.


Bow of a boat heading down a river edged with trees

Nia Tero follows 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 Logo
Aerial wave of ocean

Annual Reports

As you read our annual reports, please join us in our efforts to support Indigenous Peoples to fight for their rights, retain and transmit their cultures, and sustain the deep wisdom and the vibrant health of their vast, globally significant territories.

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.

dried flowers with leave
A leaf

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.

TEAM

Nia Tero’s governing bodies, leadership, and team 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.

balanced rocks

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.

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September 20, 2023

PR Newswire

Nia Tero Invites You to a Conversation About Indigenous Guardianship at Climate Week 2023

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February 10, 2023

Connecticut Public Radio / WNPR

In "Reciprocity Project," Indigenous voices reframe our relationship to the Earth

Read

February 9, 2023

Mongabay

Brazil-U.S. cooperation is key for global forest conservation (commentary)

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.