New Tribal Services and Research Staff: Davida Delmar and Dominique David-Chavez

June 11, 2019
New Tribal Services and Research Staff: Davida Delmar and Dominique David-Chavez

Native Nations Institute welcomes Davida Delmar (Navajo) as the new Senior Program Coordinator for Tribal Services. Delmar comes to NNI from the American Indian College Fund and brings a wealth of experience and passion for nation building through education. She earned her BA at Brown University with a double major in Ethnic Studies and Modern Culture and Media, and Masters in Public Administration at Northern Arizona University, where she learned about NNI and their “extensive research, expertise, and impact in Indian Country.”

Delmar is excited to work with NNI and has quickly been brought into several existing projects. On June 17-21, she will join the NNI staff in preparing for and facilitating the Native Youth Entrepreneurship Camp. Delmar says she “looks forward to bringing her insight from working in education to the youth and sharing NNI’s lessons as they can help lead scholars into important work.” In her free time, Davida likes to run and is excited to be back on her traditional homeland trails.

Another recent addition to the NNI Team is Dominique David-Chavez (Arawak Taíno), the newest Research Analyst. She recently completed her PhD in Human Dimensions of Natural Re-sources at Colorado State University. The focus of her work has been on methods and processes for decolonizing environmental science research. She has facilitated Indigenous community-based research on climate resilience and youth science education in the Caribbean.

David-Chavez first learned about NNI at the 2017 American Geophysical Union fall meeting where she participated in a Native Science focused session with NNI researchers Stephanie Russo Carroll (formally Rainie) and Andrew Martinez. "I was so excited to learn about an Indigenous-led research team that prioritized the wellbeing and lifeways of our communities. I believe we can do great work when this is always at the core of what we do. I was especially interested in the interdisciplinary and international collaborations taking place; I'm grateful to learn from researchers in other fields around the world who work to restore and strengthen Indigenous governance."

In her role as a research analyst, David-Chavez will help develop principles for Native nation building and identify new methods to support climate resilience in the Southwest. She will also collaborate on research projects related to the environment, as well as help develop curriculum and training to support Indigenous data sovereignty and data science. She shared that the work with NNI is the perfect fit to further her dissertation work; "it both builds my capacity while also making positive impacts through my research for Indigenous communities through culturally grounded research." In her free time, David-Chavez loves to travel, spend time with her kids and family, and share traditional and contemporary Afro-Caribbean dance that she learned from her mother.