Co-founder, Sacred Lands, Native Hands
Caressa is an enrolled member of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians Vietnamese and Filipino. She is passionate about strengthening the sovereignty of Indigenous nations by amplifying indigenous/marginalized voices and values through policy design social entrepreneurship and land stewardship. She has conducted climate change research in Bolivia Morocco Peru United States Vietnam and Nepal predicated on Indigenous rights. Her research includes highlighting international case studies on Indigenous resistance to natural resource extraction and investigating the United Nations Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) program. Caressa has co-founded Sacred Lands Native Hands (SLNH) a non-profit that is restoring homelands to the hands of Indigenous people and traditional stewardship practices to the land. She is leading a land acquisition project to reclaim acres of Miwok lands and the creation of a Tribal Environmental Advocacy program. This addition will make SLNH the only public-interest group advocating for tribal environmental justice on the west coast.