Brittani Orona

Brittani Orona


Brittani R. Orona is an enrolled member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and is currently a 4th year Ph.D. student in Native American Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Human Rights at UC Davis. Her dissertation research evaluates Hupa, Yurok, and Karuk perspectives of grassroots activism, traditional ecological knowledge, and environmental health through dam removal efforts and cultural rights movements on the Klamath River Basin. Brittani studies how indigenous communities perpetuate their visions of the world through performance, film, museum exhibition, and art in large scale environmental justice movements.

Brittani has 14 years of experience working with federal, state, and local government. She currently works as Tribal Affairs Program Manager for the California Department of Parks and Recreation. In this capacity, Brittani helps set policy surrounding Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), Memorandums of Understanding involving traditional ecological knowledge in State Parks, as well as large-scale land use projects. She works closely with federally and non-federally recognized tribes to highlight the continued environmental stewardship, survival, and resilience of California Indian people.

Prior to joining State parks, Brittani worked for the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) as an Environmental Justice and Tribal Affairs Specialist. While at DTSC, Brittani lead the development and implementation of the DTSC Tribal Consultation Policy, the CEQA (AB 52), and Permitting Departmental Memorandum establishing how regulatory programs consult and interact with California Indian tribes, and the development of the DTSC Civil Rights and Language Access policies. She has also worked at the California Government Operations Agency, California State Archives, the Maidu Museum and Historic Site, and the National Museum of the American Indian (Repatriation Department) in Washington DC.

Academically and professionally, she is engaged in repatriation, indigenous law, cultural resources management, indigenous environmental justice, and environmental history as they relate to California Indian Tribes and indigenous communities internationally. She is a proud third generation graduate of Humboldt State University (B.A. History) and Sacramento State University (M.A. Public History).

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
UC Davis, PhD
Current Position:
PhD Candidate
Environmental Justice
Environmental Policy & Law

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