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ITEP Conferences

Tribal Lands & Environment Forum

2018 Tribal Lands & Environment Forum

We are very excited to offer the 8th annual Tribal Lands and Environment Forum (TLEF). This year’s forum will be taking place at the Spokane Convention Center in Spokane, Washington, August 13-16, 2018.

This year’s Forum will feature special trainings, field trips, and breakout sessions focused on our conference theme: A National Conversation on Tribal Land and Water Resources. Topics highlighted at the forum include solid/hazardous waste management, brownfields, UST/LUSTs, Superfund sites, and emergency response. Tribal water program topics – water quality, drinking water, and habitat restoration (including wetlands, streams and fisheries) will also be included with breakout sessions, trainings and field trips.

Check out the Spokane Convention Center details for restaurants, entertainment, and local attractions in Spokane click here: and


On this website you will find information on registering for the forum, making hotel reservations, airport transportation options, securing vendor/exhibitor tables, Multi-Media Meetup, travel scholarships, and the TLEF draft agenda. You may also access presentations and agendas from past forums.

For the 2018 TLEF, the Spokane Convention Center and hotel are smoke free facilities.


Everyone attending the 2018 TLEF, including presenters, vendors, and exhibitors, will need to complete the online registration process. To qualify for the early bird registration fee rate of $100, please register below. The registration fee will increase to $125 at midnight on June 30th, 2018. You can read the “2018 TLEF Rates and Dates” deadlines calendar at the link below.

Please note that the request for a Travel Scholarship is part of the registration form. We suggest that you take a look at the information located on the "Travel Scholarship" tab before you begin the registration process and request a Travel Scholarship.

Click HERE to register and pay the registration fee for the 2018 Tribal Lands Forum. (If the registration link does not open, please try a different web browser; Google Chrome is recommended.

Click HERE to read the "2018 TLEF Rates and Dates" calendar.

Online registration for the 2018 TLEF will close on August 3rd. After August 3rd, registration can only be done onsite and the cost increases to $150.

TLEF Registration Fee Refund Policy: Check out the new and improved TLEF registration fee refund process by clicking on the "TLEF Refund Policy" below.

Click HERE for the 2018 TLEF Refund Policy. [pdf]

Travel Scholarship

A limited number of travel scholarships are available to employees of federally-recognized tribes who would otherwise not be able to attend the Tribal Lands and Environment Forum. If you are awarded a travel scholarship, ITEP will cover your hotel room charges and tax for a maximum of five nights. You will be responsible for your own transportation and per diem expenses. The deadline for submitting your request for a travel scholarship is Friday, June 1st, 2018.

To request a travel scholarship just check the “Yes, I would like to be considered for a travel scholarship” button on your TLEF registration form. You will also be asked to provide the reasons you are requesting a travel scholarship. Full payment of the TLEF registration fee is required in order for you to receive a travel scholarship.

What ITEP will do:
Requests for travel scholarships closes on June 1st, 2018 and the status of your travel scholarship request will be emailed to you on June 8th, 2018. If you are accepted for a travel scholarship your name will appear on the hotel’s direct bill list. The hotel room will be reserved in your name and ITEP will be responsible for payment of your lodging and tax charges. ITEP will not be responsible for any incidental charges incurred by you. Upon check-in at the hotel, you will be required to provide a credit or debit card to cover the cost of any incidental charges incurred by you.

What you will do:
When you are accepted for a travel scholarship we will send you an email announcement of the award and we ask that you reply to the award email indicating your arrival and departure dates as well as your preference for either a king or double queen bed hotel room. Note that this option is entirely based on the availability of king and double queen hotel rooms. When planning your travel and arrival/departure dates, be advised that these dates must fall within the TELF hotel room block dates; Sunday August 12th through Thursday August 16th. You will be financially responsible for any hotel nights that you request outside of the TLEF room block dates noted above. Please note that the hotel is a smoke free facility.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND DATE!! In the event you do not respond to the award notification email that you receive from ITEP indicating your arrival/departure dates by 5:00pm Pacific Time, July 13th, 2018, your travel scholarship request will be cancelled and you will not have a hotel reservation.

Sessions Proposals

The deadline for submitting proposals for this year’s Tribal Lands and Environment Forum has now passed. We will let you know if your proposal has been accepted by the end of May. If you have a proposal that was accepted, please remember to submit a short bio for each presenter included in your presentation. Please note that all potential presenters will need to also register for the forum. Online registration is available via the "Registration Tab

If you were unable to submit a proposal for this year’s Forum, please consider sharing your project and ideas with attendees at this year’s Multi Media Meetup! To sign up for a free table at this year’s MMM, please fill out the form under the "MMM Tab".

Click here for the 2018 TLEF Bio form to Submit a Presenter Bio

MMM (Multi Media Meetup)

The Multi Media Meetup session of the TLEF is a networking opportunity for forum attendees to share information and interact with other attendees in an informal, exhibit-style atmosphere. This special session is an excellent opportunity for:

  • Tribal professionals to highlight their work, sharing their successes with, and garnering feedback from, other attendees;
  • Representatives from various agencies, industries, and organizations to share information on the services and products they provide to tribal professionals and tribes;
  • Researchers and students to provide information on studies and projects they are involved in with other attendees.
The Multi Media Meetup will take place during the TLEF, on Wednesday, August 15th, from 3:30 to 5:00 pm. Requests to participate in the Multi Media Meetup should be submitted no later than July 23rd, 2018.

Participants are encouraged to display materials that discuss unique projects, original research, innovative technologies, or other subjects related to solid waste, UST/LUST, Superfund, brownfields, emergency response, surface and/or groundwater quality, habitat restoration, water facilities, and/or climate change. This session is free to all participants – there are no charges for display tables. ITEP will provide a 6-foot table, chairs, and a limited number of presentation easels, poster board, tape and accessories for your use. Please feel free to bring your own table coverings, dazzling displays or artwork, and/or other items you wish; just be aware that whatever you bring has to fit in front of, on top of, or behind your table. The more you can engage the TLEF attendees the better!

Forum sponsors are not responsible for issues related to copyright or culturally sensitive information. Participants are responsible for shipping and setup/breakdown of all materials before, during and after the session. Any items left behind will be discarded accordingly.

Click HERE to reserve a table for the Multi Media Meetup.


This year’s TLEF will feature special trainings on Monday, August 13th; additional trainings and field trips during the morning of August 14th; the opening plenary in the afternoon of August 14th, which will feature a special keynote speaker; Multi Media Meetup networking event in the afternoon of August 15th; breakout sessions during August 15th and 16th; and the closing plenary in the afternoon of August 16th, which will also feature a special keynote speaker.

2018 TLEF Agenda

Field Trip

Registration for the 2018 field trips is now open! Field trips are booked on a first come, first serve basis. You must register for fieldtrips in advance. To sign up for a field trip, please email Julie Jurkowski (


Bunker Hill Superfund Site: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
The Bunker Hill Mining and Metallurgical Complex Site in North Idaho was listed on the National Priorities List as a Superfund Site in 1983. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe has been actively involved in the technical and leadership level in both EPA’s remedial process and Natural Resource Damage Assessment as the site lies within the heart of the Tribe’s aboriginal homeland. This tour will be hosted by the Tribe and EPA Region 10 and participants will be able to see historic former mine and mill sites, mine waste repositories, active remediation of mine sites, an acid mine drainage water treatment facility, and downstream wetlands that have been remediated by EPA and restored by the Coeur d’Alene Basin Natural Resource Trustees. Please wear close toed shoes, and bring water, camera, bagged lunch or money to eat at the legendary Snakepit in Enaville, ID.

Colville Confederated Tribes’ Recycling Center: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
The Colville Confederated Tribes established a recycling center in 2008 which has continued to grow and evolve, becoming an exceptional resource for the Tribes (diverting significant amounts of recyclables from the waste stream, providing good employment for Tribal members, generating revenues through proactive market research, and protecting Mother Earth). This field trip will give attendees the opportunity to tour an extremely successful recycling operation, learn about equipment and staffing needs, and have a chance to talk with Tribal recycling specialists about how they can develop or expand their own recycling operations. Please wear close toed shoes, and bring water, camera, bagged lunch or money to eat at the Tribe’s casino restaurant.

Composting Demonstration and Home Composting Demo Site Tour: 8:30 am to 10:30 pm
The City of Spokane offers the Master Composter Certification for community members. This successful Master Composter and Recycler Program has been in effect since 1988. Volunteer Master Composters and Recyclers play an active role in Spokane County’s Regional Solid Waste System by teaching citizens how to reduce waste through recycling and home composting. On this tour you will learn about the program through a presentation, hear from the community master composters, and tour the green zone, the home composting demonstration area. You may even be asked to turn a compost pile! Please make sure to bring comfortable walking attire, a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water.

Tour of the Spokane Tribe’s Water and Habitat Projects: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Employees of the Tribe’s Water and Fish Program are developing a special field trip highlighting their work to protect Tribal waters – and all that rely on this vital source of life. Four different stops will allow attendees to visit the Tribe’s creek restoration projects, fish hatchery, oxygen monitoring activities in lakes, evaluations of tributaries to the Spokane and Columbia Rivers, and native vegetation work. Please make sure to bring comfortable walking attire, a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water.


Spokane River Brownfields Walking Tour: 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
The City of Spokane was selected for multiple brownfields redevelopment grants along the Spokane River. Much of this redevelopment focuses on cleaning contaminated soils and developing residential housing, expanding campus facilities, and renovating community parks along the river. This walking tour will take you along the Spokane River to visit the Kendall Yards business and residential district, the university district, and the riverfront park brownfields redevelopment. After crossing the river a presentation on Spokane’s brownfields program, local Tribal involvement, and brownfields funding sources will be given. This fieldtrip will take place on Tuesday morning from 8:00am-12:00pm. Please make sure to bring comfortable walking attire, a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water (~2 miles of walking). Accommodations are available; please let us know in advance.

City of Spokane Waste-to-Energy Facility and Material Recovery Facility (MRF): 8:30 am to 11:30 pm
Tour Spokane’s Materials and Recycling Technology Center (SMaRT Center) and Spokane’s Waste to Energy Facility on Tuesday 8:30- 11:30. The SMaRT Center can process 100,000 tons of recyclables per year and is the centerpiece of a regional strategy aimed at dramatically reducing waste and boosting recycling in the area. The 62,000-square-foot, "single stream" facility allows residents and businesses to recycle a broader assortment of materials, resulting in dramatically higher recycling and diversion rates. The City of Spokane’s Waste to Energy (WTE) Facility is part of the community's overall comprehensive solid waste system that encourages recycling and waste reduction—along with the recovery of energy. The facility processes up to 800 tons of municipal solid waste per day generating enough electricity for 13,000 homes. The process reduces the solid waste by 90 percent by volume and 70 percent by weight. On this tour participants will learn the environmental reasons Spokane County turned to WTE to process its trash 27 years ago and how it has remained the principal means of disposal since. All visitors are required to wear close toed shoes and should dress for the weather. Hard hats and safety glass will be provided. Expect some moderate walking and standing on hard surfaces.

Inland Empire Paper Company: 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
Visit Inland Empire Paper Company to see how a modern papermaking process utilizes all waste materials such as residual wood chips from area sawmills and recycled old newspapers from community collections and other wastepaper suppliers to produce the highest quality groundwood paper available. Field trip participants will be guided through the entire system starting with the warehouse that houses recycled materials in raw form, describing how they get the materials, what contaminants are present, and the research and development processes they have used to discover new technologies for tertiary treatment of the effluent. The tour will also include a viewing of the effluent system and the chip yard followed by a tour of the paper machine where pulp is made into sheets, dried and cut into printer size rolls. Field trip participants must wear long pants and closed toed shoes (no sandals or flip flops).


Hotel Accommodations

Lodging for the 2018 Tribal Lands and Environment Forum attendees is provided by the Davenport Grand, Autograph Collection Hotel. The hotel is offering a limited number of rooms at a single occupancy nightly rate of $109 plus 12.1% tax. The Spokane Convention Center is a 5 minute walk to the Davenport Grand, Autograph Collection Hotel and it is connected to the Spokane Convention Center by a sky bridge.

Davenport Grand, Autograph Collection Hotel

To make and manage your hotel reservation at the Davenport Grand Hotel you may visit this website:

Book your group rate for Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals Tribal Lands and Environmental Forum

Airport and Ground Transportation Information

The hotel offers airport shuttle service to and from the Spokane International Airport, approximately 8 miles. There are 5 airlines flying into the airport including Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest, and United airlines. To arrange for shuttle service, call the hotel and make a shuttle reservation ahead of time.

If you are staying at the Davenport Grand Hotel, call 509-455-8888 to reserve the shuttle ahead of time ($25 one-way). Uber and Lyft rideshare services are other options. The fares are slightly lower ranging from $15-$20 and will depend on surge pricing. To help with costs feel free to carpool with other forum attendees.

If you are driving to the event you can park your car at the hotel. Guests with the TLEF receive a special rate of $12 per night.

Past TLEFs:

2017 TLEF: Cox Business Center
Tulsa, OK
August 14-17, 2017

    Click HERE for Presentations.

    Click HERE for Attendee Networking list. [pdf]

2016 TLEF: Mohegan Sun Resort
Uncasville, CN
August 15-18, 2016

    Click HERE for Presentations.

    Click HERE for Conference Booklet.

    Click HERE for Attendee Networking list.

2015 TLEF: Hyatt Regency
Minneapolis, MN
August 17-20, 2015

    Click HERE for Presentations.

    Click HERE for Conference Booklet.

    Click HERE for Attendee Networking List.

2013 TLEF: Hyatt Regency Tamaya
Pueblo of Santa Ana
August 19-22, 2013

    Click HERE for Presentations.

    Click HERE for Conference Booklet.

    Click HERE for Attendee Networking List.

2012 TLEF: Mill Casino and Hotel, Coquille Indian Tribe
Coos Bay, OR
August 20-23, 2012

    Click HERE for Presentations.

    Click HERE for Attendee Networking List. [pdf]

    Click HERE for Presenter Bios. [pdf]

    Click HERE for Agenda Booklet. [pdf]

2011 TLEF: Radisson Hotel and Conference Center
Oneida/Green Bay, WI
August 23-25, 2011

    Click HERE for Presentations.

2010 TLEF: US Grant Hotel
San Diego, CA
August 24-26, 2010

    Click HERE for Presentations.

For more information please contact:

Todd Barnell, Program Manager
Julie Jurkowski, Program Coordinator Sr.