This summer we are collaborating with Dr. Xiumei Pu in her Project, "Mountains and Stories: Building Community Among Asian and Pacific Islander Refugee and Immigrant Families in Salt Lake Valley," with the support of a Whiting Public Engagement Programs Seed Grant. Anchored in the theme of mountains, the project consists of a twelve-part podcast and a documentary, a storytelling-conversation cultural event (June 26, 2021), and a group hike in the Wasatch Mountains (October 23, 2021). It is our hope that these efforts will amplify the environmental voices of Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant communities, and spark more public interest in thinking about the connection between culture, identity, and the natural environment. You can listen to previous episodes here on the IMR Podcast website.
At the heart of the project is a podcast series featuring the life and work of twelve storytellers who come from a range of age groups, occupations, and ethnic and racial backgrounds. Some of them are born in the United States; many of them are born in another Asian country or Pacific Island and immigrated to the US at a young age. Their stories show fascinating complexities of immigration routes and histories, incredible cultural richness and resilience, and long-lasting contributions of the Asian and Asian Pacific Islander communities to the social life and cultural landscapes of Salt Lake Valley and the broader Utah.
Nikki Navio (she/her) was born on Panay Island in the Philippines. At seven years old she immigrated to the United States and settled on Dena'ina Lands of Anchorage, Alaska with her family. Water and mountains have been an important fixture growing up in the Philippines and Alaska. Nikki finds healing, joy, and freedom in the mountains while also remembering the cultural importance of respecting the weather and landscapes she visits. She is currently a Transportation Planner at the Wasatch Front Regional Council, where her days are dedicated to working with communities and alongside partners to plan for better regional transportation mobility in the Wasatch Front. Nikki holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Alaska Fairbanks and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Clemson University. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Jeff Nichols and Brent Olson co-direct the Institute for Mountain Research and our 2018-2019 Mountain Fellows are Katie Saad and Naomi Shapiro. Our theme song is “Home” by Pixie and the Partygrass Boys.. As Naomi likes to say, “They are awesome and you should check them out.”
The Institute for Mountain Research is located on the ancestral and traditional lands of the Ute, Goshute, and Shoshone Peoples.
- Radical Adventure Riders – Movement towards gender inclusivity & racial equity in the bicycle adventure community. — Our mission is moving towards enhancing gender inclusivity and racial equity in the bicycle and outdoor adventure scene. We do this by providing connection, education, resources, and support for the community.
- Pixie & The Partygrass Boys