Growing up both on and off the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Oregon, inspired Pah-tu Pitt to better understand how the world works. Along the river, running through our reservation, a medicine man taught that education could be used as a tool to assert values. Through encouragement from the traditional community, I earned an Environmental Science Degree at Portland State University focusing on Ecology and Politcal Science. After Speaking at an Indigeneous women in science panel, at University of Washington, Pah-tu became determined to increase opportunities for others. At Evergreen State College’s Master’s of Environmental Studies program, she is focusing on restoration Ecology and Environmental Management.
Pah-tu is a member of several canoe families that emphasize culture, including environmental learning. Through her participation, she and her husband were inspired to start Native Kut, a carving tool company. Like education, they see making carving tools accessible as a way to support the work and inspiration in the diverse communities of the Pacific Northwest. The company is growing to feature art and a culinary line.
Her current research interests are the potential for greater reliance on indigenous food systems and co-developing culturally based curriculum addressing climate change. Through her roles as Treasurer, for Red Eagle Soaring, youth development and theatre group she is able to bring together her love of art and science.