Teri Red Owl
“We at the Owens Valley Indian Water Commission strive to bring together community members and allies to find common ground around the concept that water is life. We are motivated by our responsibilities to the land and the people of Payahuunadü.”
—Teri Red Owl
Teri Red Owl is building a movement, skillfully coordinating the legal, educational, scientific, and political fronts all at once. As Executive Director of the Owens Valley Indian Water Commission (OVIWC), she has been at the forefront of efforts to negotiate tribal land and water rights for the Bishop, Big Pine, and Lone Pine tribes, working closely with the tribal leadership and their representatives on the OVIWC board.
But the work doesn’t stop there. On any given day, you can find Teri and her OVIWC staff organizing community workshops, trainings, and youth camps; monitoring water quality and groundwater levels; or advocating for policy change in Payahuunadü, in Los Angeles, and at the state and federal levels. Teri goes above and beyond in service to her community, serving on the Inyo County Water Commission and working to make space for more Indigenous voices in decision-making forums.
She reminds us that we all have a part to play in educating ourselves and taking action, recognizing that Indigenous rights are not just a legal matter but also a matter of social and environmental justice for current and future generations.