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Aimee Roberson to Join Cultural Survival as New Executive Director

Dear Cultural Survival Community,

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am delighted to announce that Aimee Roberson will join Cultural Survival as our new executive director. She will be based out of New Mexico.

Aimee is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and a descendant of the Chickasaw Nation. She is passionate about upholding the sovereignty and rights of Indigenous Peoples so that we and our lifeways, cultures, languages, and the ecosystems we steward can flourish. Within her community, she is learning Chahta anumpa (Choctaw language), practicing traditional arts, growing and preparing traditional foods, and learning and teaching about shared history, values, and responsibilities to care for our land, waters, and plant and animal relatives.

Aimee comes to Cultural Survival after serving as the Director of American Bird Conservancy’s Southwest Region. Previously, she served as the Coordinator for the Rio Grande Joint Venture, and prior to that worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for many years. Throughout her career, she has worked with people across North America, stewarding ecosystems, protecting biodiversity, and planning for climate change adaptation. Her success in these fields is supported by her Indigenous worldview, her traditional knowledge, and by including Indigenous Peoples in conversations and work in their territories. She has been working at the intersection of conservation and justice in support of Indigenous Peoples. As a co-founder of the Indigenous Kinship Circle, Aimee has helped build solidarity with Indigenous Peoples and bridges with conservationists, scientists, and policymakers.

Aimee is a lifelong student of Earth’s wisdom and holds a Bachelor's degree in Geology from Macalester College and a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota. She is committed to reciprocity, community, and environmental stewardship, and partners with people and all our relations to ensure that native grasses grow and rivers continue to flow. Aimee leads conservation partnerships in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico — co-creating a vision; integrating cultural values and ecological knowledge to guide science for meaningful decision-making; and implementing shared strategies for stewarding wildlife, water, and ecosystems. Aimee also serves on the boards of the Big Bend Conservation Alliance, and Regalia Making Relatives, and is stepping down from the boards of the Sonoran and Rio Grande Joint Ventures as she transitions into her new role at Cultural Survival.

Aimee’s expert knowledge and experience working on elevating Indigenous voices, perspectives, and rights, as well as advocating for Indigenous land rights and stewardship, is aligned with and supportive of Cultural Survival’s mission to advance Indigenous Peoples' rights and support Indigenous communities’ self-determination, cultures, and political resilience. We look forward to Aimee’s leadership in implementing our vision of a future that respects and honors Indigenous Peoples' inherent rights and dynamic cultures, deeply and richly interwoven in lands, languages, spiritual traditions, and artistic expression, rooted in self-determination and self-governance. Please join us in welcoming Aimee. She will commence her role on July 1. We would also like to express our profound gratitude to Deputy Executive Director Mark Camp for leading the organization in the last several months through this transition period. 

As Cultural Survival is celebrating its 52nd year of working to advance native rights and pathways, I also remind you that Cultural Survival relies on individuals like you to do our work. We are launching the New Leadership Transition Fund to support Cultural Survival and the new Executive Director in this transition period, to build on our successes and strengths, and to guide the organization to emerging work to address the realities of the ever-changing world and its impacts on Indigenous communities. When you give to Cultural Survival, you are helping to build a better future for Indigenous Peoples and all people who call Mother Earth home. You are investing in the defense of Indigenous Peoples’ rights, lands, and cultures. And you are investing in Indigenous women and youth. We hope we can count on you as we embark on a new era with a new leader.


Kaimana Barcarse (Kanaka Hawai’i)
President of the Board of Directors