Will Madrigal, Jr.
Tribal Capacities and Partnerships Program Manager
As the Tribal Capacities and Partnerships Program Manager, Will works closely with Southern California Tribal Nations to build relationships between Tribal representatives, scientists, managers, and community partners to support advancement of Tribally-visioned, led, and implemented climate resilience projects within the Climate Science Alliance’s portfolio. Will is a California Indian Professor of American Indian Studies/History/Language, and an enrolled member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians located here in Riverside County. He grew up on the reservation learning and practicing his traditional ways. He is a Native Educator, Language Teacher, and Cultural Resource Manager, having worked for numerous tribal governments in Riverside/ SanBernardino counties as a professional for many years. As an undergrad at UCR, he was fortunate to collaborate with his professors on a joint project, Keeping the Songs Alive: California Indian Historical Perspectives (2010). This project actively sought to provide the forgotten voices and perspectives of the California native peoples regarding California indigenous: epistemologies, conversations on race, notions about the colonization of traditional native gender roles, ethno-musicology, local historiography and origin narratives, and the root of indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Will’s doctorate work includes de-constructing native studies through an interdisciplinary, indigenous lens. Archival study of his Cahuilla ancestry and interactions with early colonizers in Riverside County, with regards to impacts on the economic and socio-political identity of the region. Emphasis is also given to epistemic and ontological knowledge transfer. Since 2008, Will has conducted the Learning Landscapes intertribal programs for the non-profit Native American Land Conservancy LLC. The program sought to educate native youth and families by hosting a camping module located in the remote Old Woman Mtn. Preserve near Desert Center, CA. Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) learning was the key curriculum for the program, where local elders taught the group traditional: plant use, stories and animals, songs and dances.