Keynote Speakers


Mike Catches Enemy

Wednesday, 8:30–9:30am

Traditional and Naturally Significant Places: A Lakota Worldview of Place
Michael Catches Enemy is Tintetunwan Lakota, originating from the sacred Black Hills of Turtle Island. Michael has a lifetime teaching of family and elders and life experiences as a Lakota. He also obtained western education and is currently a master’s degree candidate in Cultural Resource Management & Archaeology at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 2003 in Environmental Science, with an emphasis in Conservation Biology from Oglala Lakota College in Kyle, South Dakota. He has twice served as Director of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Natural Resources Regulatory Agency. He is the proud owner of Catches Enemy Consulting, through which he serves as an environmental/archaeological consultant. From 2013 to 2015, he served as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer/Director for the Oglala Sioux Tribe before transferring over in 2015 to be the first-ever tribal archaeologist for the Oglala Sioux Tribal Historic Preservation Office. He is currently serving as the legislative liaison to Tribal President Julian Bear Runner of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, 2018–2020 administration.

Mike Catches Enemy’s identity is tied to a lifetime of teaching from family, elders, and life experiences as a Lakota on the homelands of his ancestors. His discussion will hit on a variety of topics, such as the prior proposed Oglala Sioux Tribe / National Park Service – Tribal National Park in the Badlands and his experiences with Tribal and federal governmental entities with the Tribal communities. His real passion is protecting Lakota collective intellectual property as it links to “traditional and naturally significant places,” while preserving cultural resources and prehistoric sites. Coming from a place of personal recovery from destructive and oppressive historical trauma, his life for the past 27 years has been dedicated to bringing back traditional values to Lakota youth by practicing the ancient Lakota way of life with them in this modern world.

Nina S. Roberts, Ph.D

Friday, 9:00–10:00am

Keeping Up and Keeping It Real! Changes, Challenges, and Connections for Diversity, Access, and Inclusion for Youth and Nature 
Dr. Nina Roberts is a dynamic educator and respected leader. Her research on cultural diversity and parks and public lands is nationally known and has been significant for managers, field staff, and community partners alike. A professor in the department of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism at San Francisco State University (, Nina is also director of SF State’s Institute for Civic & Community Engagement. Before joining the ranks of higher education, she spent her career working with environmental organizations, urban programs, county parks, and the National Park Service. A Fulbright Scholar with an experiential learning philosophy, Nina has been recognized for her commitment to diversity and social justice striving to break down barriers of inequality regarding park access, environmental education, and outdoor recreation on public lands. A well-published author, she has also interviewed with, L.A. Times, NBC News Bay Area, The New York Times, Public Radio International, and more. 

Nina will address changing demographics and shifts in socio-cultural trends, constraints to visitation and involvement, strategies for engaging people across cultures—with an emphasis on youth—and sharing ideas for changing the face of the workforce. This will be a vibrant talk creating synergy between interpretation and issues of equity and inclusion while encouraging personal and professional responsibility to do this important work. How can we open our minds and hearts, authentically, and make room to discover how others embrace our interpretive programs and services, and make meaning from their own experiences? How can we continue to listen and learn from the very communities we’re trying to serve? Understanding multiple points of view helps dispel persistent myths about the cultural and political forces emerging in relation to both nature and the built environment. Delegates will be challenged to think differently and determine what’s needed for progressive sustained action. 


NAI National Conference

Denver Colorado
November 12–16, 2019

Interested in Sponsorships or Advertising?

Contact NAI Events Manager Michele Farmer at or 970-484-8283 x805.