About Ataya's Work

Ataya is an enrolled citizen of the Fort Peck Sioux and Assiniboine Tribes and a descendant of the northern Ute Tribe from the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in northeastern Utah. Her dissertation work examines the complex and contradictory relationships between oil and gas development, tribal sovereignty, and environmental justice on the northern Ute reservation. She has worked for the Ute Tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs as an environmental protection specialist reviewing environmental assessments for proposed oil and gas wells on Tribal lands. 

Ataya is passionate about revitalizing the Ute language and is pursuing a designated emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization to strengthen her community's language curriculum and anchor her work in Ute epistemologies.