Natalie Magnatta is a linguist, educator, and community organizer originally from Massachusetts. She holds a BA in both linguistics and in Spanish, and has an MA from the University of New Hampshire where she studied the effect of  Spanish on Latin American indigenous peoples, with a focus on how communities respond to newly introduced languages and language policies.

Her travels have brought her to Europe, Latin America, Africa and throughout the US.  She speaks fluent English and Spanish, is proficient in French, and has studied Arabic, Navajo and Maleku, among other languages.

Currently, Natalie is working as a 1st grade teacher at Little Wound Elementary School in Kyle, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation for the Oglala Sioux. She is supporting the learning and use of the Lakota language in the classroom and working for educational equity on the reservation. She has also worked as a teacher to elementary, university and continuing education students in New England, where she employed creative uses of technology to aid in teaching. She has presented original research on the role of technology in the classroom at the NEALLT conference. She has also worked on a River Clean-up project in Peru and independently designed an indigenous Dictionary Project in Costa Rica.

Previously she has also worked for Refugee Assistance & Immigration Services in Anchorage, Alaska, where she developed community support networks and helped to increase funding and volunteerism. She uses her well-developed communication skills to effectively connect with community leaders and other local stakeholders.  She also employs her understanding of community development practices in creating new, sustainable volunteer programming.  Her teaching background serves as a base as she develops information into easy-to-understand lessons for the public.

Christopher Ives is a writer, social organizer, and audio/visual artist originally from Connecticut. He studied philosophy and sustainability at the University of New Hampshire where he wrote, directed and produced a documentary film on sustainable energy. He also has a Master’s Degree in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University’s Heller School (ranked #5 Social Policy School, 2012), where he studied the effects of industrial development on Alaska Native Peoples and the resiliency of Alaskan Development.

He has also worked as an organic farmer, a painter, a videographer, and as a blogger for a mainstream social and environmental change blog. He also acted as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of the North in Anchorage, Alaska during the 2010-2011 academic year, where he developed curricula, wrote policy briefings, and worked in teams organizing educational programs and events. Additionally he has been contracted to work with various non-profits on program development and direction.

In his spare time, Christopher is a short filmmaker as well as a documentary photographer and was recently contracted to photograph TEDx Anchorage. His work was recently featured on ‘The Orris‘ a online cultural journal based out of Boston. He also dabbles in web and graphic design.

He is an experienced backpacker and has traveled extensively in Latin America, Europe, and the United States, living and working in diverse communities and settings. In Peru, he and Natalie worked independently to develop a river clean-up project and partnership with the local municipality.

More information can be found at:

Chris and Natalie are inspired to creatively approach the obstacles that impede social equity and sustainable development.  They aspire to continue learning, traveling, and working for social and environmental welfare through innovative community action and education initiatives.

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