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An Agent for
Nature Based Education
& Advocacy

The Lo—TEK Institute is inspired by the philosophy of radical indigenism from citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Professor Eva Marie Garoutte. Radical indigenism argues for a rebuilding of knowledge and explores indigenous philosophies capable of generating new dialogues.

The institute works to empower communities whose knowledge systems have been violently dismissed across educational and environmental spheres, while also guiding non-indigenous communities on how to understand and apply traditional and indigenous knowledge in a respectful and responsible way. Supported by a community of educators, knowledge keepers, architects, designers, founders, historians, philosophers and environmental advocates, the institute engages in research and projects across the globe that enhance nature based technologies and environmental literacy.



Julia Watson

Design, Activist and Educator

Designer, activist, academic and author, Julia Watson is a leading expert on indigenous nature-based technologies. Julia has taught at Harvard, Columbia, RISD, and Rensselaer universities and her work has been widely published culminating in her award-winning book, Lo—TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism in 2019 with Taschen, which became a bestseller. Lo—TEK has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Monocle, and Architectural Digest. Julia has presented a TED talk, titled “How to Build a Resilient Future Using Ancient Wisdom,” which is in included in the international AP curriculum, has spoken at the Long Now, on NPR public radio, is the recipient of the lifetime achievement award for Education by the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, and has twice been nominated on Wallpaper Magazine’s list of People shaping Creative America. Julia’s upcoming book, Lo—TEK Water, will be published by TASCHEN in Spring 2025.

Melissa Hunter Gurney

Writer, Educator and Founder

Melissa Hunter Gurney is a writer, educator and founder. She has spent twenty years as an innovative leader in schools, across states and countries, actively working to decolonize educational materials and empower a more equitable and curiosity inspired system. She is the co-founder of Black Land Ownership, a grassroots organization which stewards 48 acres of land, some of which is in conservation, and works to combat systemic oppression around property in the Americas; The Omni Institute, a progressive educational platform that encourages exploration of the wilds; GAMBA Forest, a community art space, artist residency and liminal schoolhouse; and The Lo—TEK Institute. She is on the board of Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) and seeks to synthesize her work through supporting the creation of an outdoor environmental education institute in New York State. Her essays and fiction have been published in literary magazines both nationally and internationally including The Yale Review, Pank Magazine and Paris Lit Up. 


The Lo—TEK Living Curriculum Advisory Group seeks to create an authentic human library that connects knowledge from individuals and communities all over the world. To assess cultural representation and its alignment with actual culture and to help visualize a constellation of knowledge keepers that create independent information systems built on the griot tradition of oral storytelling and performance.


Each advisor collaborates with a shared mission, to empower competency of the source material and perspectives presented from members of the non hegemonic apparatus, as well as recommend live and grass-roots, independent sources.

Christopher Banks Carr

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Christopher Banks Carr attended Morehouse for undergraduate school and Columbia for graduate school. He is a historian, researcher, interdisciplinary artist, founder, conservationist, consultant and author of four books. His consultancy work focuses on diversity, equity and  inclusion for tech companies, start-ups and schools as well as educational theory.


In the past ten years, he has run his own arts and creative content platform, engaged in a plethora of performance oriented and discussion evoking experiences with high school students across New York City and most recently collaborated on the development of a rubric and educational theory rooted in cognition, the human existential crisis, historical relevance of educational practices, the interdisciplinary approach to learning and communication between adults and young people. He’s also provided an accelerator space for connecting a diverse group of educators and environmentalists (college professors, teachers, students and artist in residence) to collect resources/information as well as actively discuss redefining, restructuring and re-orienting the education system at large.

Nathalie Kelley Mallqui


Nathalie Kelley is an actress of Indigenous Peruvian descent, most recently starring in Dynasty and The Baker and the Beauty. With a background in Social Science and Policy, Nathalie is passionate about using her gifts as a storyteller to tell stories that educate and inspire.


With an IG following of over a million people she uses her platform to advocate for a variety of issues from regenerative fashion, systemic justice for Indigenous peoples, wilderness conservation, regenerative farming and the healing power of plants and fungi. Her 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry make her a powerful voice on the current issues that are shaping our world.

Anna Prokopeva


Anna Prokopeva was born in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and raised in the city of Yakutsk. Driven by a desire for higher education and broader opportunities, Anna moved to Moscow to study economics at the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International Relations.   Her professional journey led to an internship and training at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, which expanded her understanding of global trade dynamics and regulations. Anna is multilingual, fluent in her native Yakut and Russian, and proficient in English, French, and Spanish.


She attributes her resilience and work ethic to the strong influence of her mother and grandmother, who played pivotal roles in her upbringing. Despite the distance, Anna maintains close ties with her family in Yakutia and does historical research around the history of the Sakha people. Her work involves negotiations in foreign languages with foreign companies and the Yakuts living abroad

Anjelica Gallegos

Anjelica S. Gallegos (Jicarilla Apache Nation, Pueblo of Santa Ana) is a co-founder of the Indigenous Society of Architecture, Planning, and Design, with work featured in Architectural Digest, Metropolis Magazine, and more. Gallegos designs systematic programming that elevates Indigenous history, perspectives, and knowledge while serving as a liaison for growth and reciprocity.


Her multifaceted research and built work focuses on Indigeneity in architecture including the memory of site, the impact to American Indian architecture from policy, and the informed application of sustainable design principles.  Gallegos served as an ambassador of President Obama’s Generation Indigenous Initiative, advocating for Indian and environmental priorities, including at the White House Tribal Nations Summit and United State of Women Summit. Prior, Anjelica served in public relations for the Jicarilla Apache Nation and the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. Gallegos graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Cum Laude) in Architecture from the University of Colorado Denver, and from Yale School of Architecture as the Alpha Rho Chi Medal recipient.


Dr. Keolu Fox

Keolu is co-founder of the Native BioData Consortium and an assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where he is a co-founder and co-director of the UCSD Indigenous Futures Institute.


At UCSD, Keolu is affiliated with the Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute, the Institute for Genomic Medicine, the Department of Anthropology, the Global Health Program, the Climate Action Lab, the Design Lab, and the J Craig Venter Institute. He has experience designing and engineering genome sequencing and editing technologies, and a decade of grassroots experience working with Indigenous partners to advance genome science. Keolu is the first Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) to receive a doctorate in genome sciences.  Keolu is a TED Fellow, National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Emerson Collective Fellow, and current NYU ENRICH Global Chair. Keolu serves as an advisor, consultant, and board member for multiple organizations.


Yakut Advisory Group

Living along the Arctic Ocean and Indigenous to the far eastern Siberian Republic of Yakutia, also known as Sakha, the Yakuts are a people who experiences the second lowest temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere. With a way of life that has mostly been dictated by the extreme climate, winters are now becoming warmer and shorter, the coastal ice cover and permafrost are thawing, and the community is concerned about climate change. The Yakut Advisory group was formed as a knowledge exchange, between the Yakut people who wanted to gain new knowledge on how to survive and adapt in the context of environmental instability and social inequality, and the Lo—TEK Institute.

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The Lo—TEK Institutes collaborates with various organizations across the educational, architectural and environmental sphere with a focus on indigenous run entities as well as entities that affect indigenous communities across the globe. If you are interesting in building a partnership or collaboration with the Lo—TEK Institute contact us at



The Indigenous Society of Architecture, Planning and Design (ISAPD) is an organization focused on increasing international knowledge, consciousness, and appreciation of Indigenous architecture, planning, and design, inclusive of landscape architecture and environmental design, in academia and the professional realm.

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Ecoschools Canada

Since 2005, EcoSchools Canada’s award-winning certification framework has provided independent reporting and recognition for schools and outdoor and environmental education centres. Reaching about 1 million students annually, we are the largest bilingual, voluntary environmental certification program for K-12 schools in Canada.

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