MEET THE NATIVES IN AMERICA TEAM
Rosalia Badhorse is a proud member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation in Montana. Her tribal name is Mé’eóóe, which translates to Outstanding Woman. She is a former Miss Northern Cheyenne (2010 -2011), which is a pageant title that is won by young Cheyenne women with traditional knowledge and skills. Cultural preservation, education, and native youth are some of the things that Rosalia advocated for during her reign as Miss Northern Cheyenne and had continued to do so with her own educational journey on the east coast. In the spring of 2015, Rosalia graduated from La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Reservation life and its multifaceted social and political issues are what inspired Rosalia to pursue a degree in business, and are also what had influenced her to minor in Human Services as well. Overall, her aspiration in life is dedicate her professional life to serving and empowering native communities in whatever shape or form possible.
Abaki Beck is a mixed-race indigenous woman enrolled in the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana with Red River Métis and European-American blood mixed in. Abaki most recently worked for the U.S. House of Representatives, with a portfolio that included health care and Native American issues. She believes in the transformative power of storytelling and is passionate about addressing health and education disparities that impact Native peoples. In these veins, she has conducted several oral history projects on the Blackfeet Reservation, including past research on youth suicide and current research on traditional plant knowledge. In her spare time, Abaki curates POC Online Classroom, a website that makes social justice readings more accessible. Abaki enjoys writing poetry, personal narrative essays, and is currently working on a screenplay on Native women and mental health.
Oki Niiksookowaiks Nistoo Nitaniko Piitahsoowatsis (Eagle Tail Feather), Niksista Anistaya Ainskiaki ki Ninna anistay Ksiksikamiohkitoapii, Niitomahtomahpa Misinskisitahta. Leo John Bird III, is from Browning Montana on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Leo is both Blackfeet and Haida-Tlingit from Alaska and considers himself a Blackfeet traditionalist. He is a graduate from Loyola-Sacred Heart High School and is a current undergrad at Stanford University. He is majoring in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and is interested in the racial/ethnic intersection in health. He is primarily interested in language revitalization and endangered languages and studying decolonization as a means to assert better tribal sovereignty. As an undergrad Leo hopes to continue working with the Stanford American Indian Organization to advocate for policy changes regarding the treatment and mishandling of Native American rights.
Dahlton Brown is a Master’s student at Stanford University, earning his MA in Education in the Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies program. Hailing from Jackson, California and the Wilton Miwok Rancheria, Dahlton is interested in creating equal access to higher education for students of all backgrounds. He earned his BA with Honors in Native American Studies from Stanford University in 2015, and plans to earn his PhD in Education.
Doris Nicole Brown is a member of Shinnecock Indian Nation of Long Island, New York and a devoted follower of Christ. Poverty in reservations and developing countries, sex trafficking, mistreatment of refugees, and the social inequalities between ethnic groups are just a few of her focal points. Culture and security are important factors in Brown’s eyes and she intends to dedicate her life making sure humanity is restored. She believes joining NIA will give her back the voice that was once silenced and will help many like her along the way. She recently graduated from North Stafford High School in Virginia and is now enrolled in Norwich University as an International Studies major. As a Native American female in America, she endured many adversities which influenced her to join a youth organization, CodeNextGeneration, that nurtured her and walked her down a path that now fuels her goal of impacting the world one life at a time.
Chance Carpenter is a Hupa Tribal member, as well as Yurok and Karuk. Growing up his entire life on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation, Chance is very active in the Hupa, Yurok and Karuk tribal ceremonies and has spent the past summer as a public health intern at K’ima:w Medical Center. His latest developing work is his CSRE (Comparativd Studies of Race & Ethnicity) honors thesis during his senior year at Stanford University. He is currently researching and writing about Tribal Water Rights and how they have clashed historically and in contemporary times with Western Economic Liberalist ideologies. In his down time, Chance enjoys exercising, family time with his many siblings and cousins, and producing experimental hip hop instrumentals on his computer, which can be found on Soundcloud under Chance Carpenter Productions.
Aliyah Chavez is from Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico. She is a graduate of the Santa Fe Indian School and currently attends Stanford University. While currently undeclared, she is interested in double majoring in the Comparative Studies of Race and Ethnicity and Communication. Her dream job is to be a broadcast journalist.
Makōns Itíbíwín Nijwaw (Young Bear That Looks Twice) or Collin Church is from the small town of Allegan, Michigan. He is 21 years old. He is the Co-Founder of the Inter-Tribal Michigan Youth Council. He serves as the Vice-President of the Michigan Indian Education Council. He also served on the National Native Youth Cabinet for the National Congress of American Indians and he also served as the Member-At-Large for their Youth Commission. Collin serves as the Co-Chairman for the National Indian Gaming Association’s first ever Subcommittee on Youth Leadership. Collin is a recipient of UNITY’s (United National Indigenous Tribal Youth) first inaugural class of 25 Under 25 Native Youth Leadership Awards program as well as NCAI’s 2014 Youth Leadership Award presented by Ernie Stevens. He is an advocate for native youth and fights to promote language, culture, and higher education across Indian Country.
Ada Claire attends Tallinn University in Estonia where she studies International Law (minor in EU Law) with a focus on Indigenous Rights Preservation. Her thesis research consists of an analysis of indigenous legal systems and their economic impacts as semi-sovereign states in relation to their colonial governments, including Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Outermost Regions. Beyond her projects with Native Americans, she has worked and lived with multiple indigenous societies worldwide. These include the Ainu of Japan, Sami of Scandinavia, and the 8 tribes of Bukidnon in the Philippines. Two of her personal projects include the #realNDNtalk challenge and The Digital Powwow, a podcast on life as a modern indigenous person. In her free time, she enjoys beading as well as studying, recording, and teaching in the Jicarilla Apache language.
Talon Ducheaneaux is a proud Lakota and Dakota from SouthDakota. Moving around a lot as a kid, he holds Crow Creek, SD, Eagle Butte, SD, and Rosebud, SD close to heart. Talon is a current undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, finishing his senior year studying psychology. Talon is also a spoken word/hip hop artist with the alias of “BazilleDx”. With this, he has released 20 projects since 2012, all up for free download at www.bazilledx.bandcamp.com and www.soundcloud.com/bazilledx. Talon also has a book of poetry for sale at http://www.blurb.com/b/5196457-tall-grass-ahead
Cara Forbes is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, a federally recognized tribe based in the Qualla Boundary of western North Carolina. She is an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA) where she is majoring in Language and Literature with a minor in Ethnic Studies. Cara strives to serve her Indigenous community through means of the written word and educational outreach. In addition to writing for Natives In America, Cara also serves as a writer for Odyssey and works as the Programming Supervisor for Multicultural Student Programs at UNCA. After she graduates from UNCA, she plans to pursue her Master’s degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs.
Yá’át’ééh! Shi éí Kentaro Herder yinishyé. ‘Ádóone’é nishłínígíí ‘éí Honágháanii nishłį. Lók’aa’dine’é ‘éí báshíshchíín. Tł’iziłání ‘éí dashicheii nááná Deeshchii’nii ‘éí dashinálí. Tó dínéeshzhee’dęę’ naashá. Shimá ‘éí Kathleen Herder wolyéé dóó shizhé’é ‘éí Wayne Herder wolyéé. I am of the One Who Walks Around clan, born for the Reed People clan. My maternal grandfather is of the Many Goats clan and my paternal grandfather is of the Start of the Red Streak People clan. Kayenta, Arizona, is where I am from. My mother’s name is Kathleen Herder and my father’s name is Wayne Herder. Kentaro graduated from Monument Valley High School in Kayenta, Arizona on the Navajo reservation. He is attending the University of Arizona as a Physiology major with aspirations to go forth into medical school. He’s involved in Native SOAR (a service-learning program where college students mentor Native American high school students in pursuing higher education) and the American Indian and Indigenous Health Alliance. His dream is to return back and work at his local community Indian Health Services hospital and to fulfill his grandmother’s dream to have cattle, horses, and sheep.
Bridgette Annalyse Jameson is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma who currently resides in Los Angeles County. Though her interests are usually centered around an art of some type, she aspires to double major in Psychology and Native Studies in order to better serve her tribe. Her passion lies with youth experiencing mental discomfort and self-destructive behavior. Running a safe space called Natives Anonymous where Indigenous issues and thoughts can be discussed or shared anonymously, and writing a book of poetry centering around her journey as a Native woman are two of her latest endeavors. Bridgette’s biggest hope for the future is to learn Choctaw well enough to write a complete textbook and translate her favorite mainstream reads – like Harry Potter! – to be used as learning tools for others interested in learning their language. She is also an editor of The Pulp Zine. You can view her portfolio here for her contact information, list of publications, and more.
Chiitaanibah Johnson is a proud member of the Navajo (Diné) and K’ewsayoma’a Khomkhaawi Maidu tribes. She is currently enrolled at California State University, Sacramento as an English major studying theatre, film, dance, ethnic studies, and criminal justice. Chiitaanibah organizes community open mic events where she performs original monologues, spoken words, poems, and narratives. Her name is a combination of both her native languages, and it means Golden Warrior Woman; she hopes to use her art and education as tools to elevate and unite her people.
Tennessee Loy is an enrolled member and citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. I attend Northeastern State University in the heart of the Cherokee Nation capital of Tahlequah. I’ve spent a lot of time within my community and been a part of Cherokee Nations youth programs. Most recently I was a part of the Cherokee Nations Remember the Removal Bike ride. Where we rode bicycles a little over 950 miles retracing the northern route of the trail of tears. History is very important to me along with preserving it our heritage. I have an interest in a number of problems within Indian Country focusing primarily on poverty, the mascot issue and Native identity.
Teddy McCullough is an MBA candidate at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business. Teddy hopes to work with tribal and indigenous communities around the world to help develop sustainable and culturally appropriate enterprises to help improve economic development. Formerly, he worked as a Program Coordinator for the Center for Native American Youth at The Aspen Institute where he led the Generation Indigenous programming. Teddy is from the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians in Northern California and graduated from American University in Washington DC. Prior to his work at CNAY, Teddy worked at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy where he assisted in the administration of the Drug-Free Communities Support Program to help fund community organizations interested in preventing drug and alcohol abuse among youth. Teddy is also a Board Member of the National Urban Indian Youth Alliance and continues to be involved in his community through his language revitalization efforts.
Joey Montoya is Lipan Apache from Texas, but was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. He started his own company called Urban Native Era which focuses on reclaiming who we are as Indigenous people of the 21st century by showing and bringing awareness not only on our culture, but issues that our Indigenous people are still facing today. He attends San Jose State University where he founded N.A.S.O. (Native American Student Organization). Throughout his time at SJSU he was able to discover his passion for art and is studying graphic design and advertising. He now lives in San Jose, CA wherehe continues to bring awareness to anyone who is willing to listen.
Hán Mitakúyapí! Čajé mitáwa Alli Moran emačíyapí kštó! Wanblí Pahá na Wakpá Wášté el watí! Čánté wášté napé čiyúzapé! Alli J. Moran is from Eagle Butte, South Dakota. She is a young Lakota woman from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Alli Moran is an Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Alumnus with a Bachelors Degree in Indigenous Liberal Studies (ILS). Alli’s career background consists of: Research Assistant at the American Indian Development Associates (AIDA), FOX Entertainment Group Diversity Development American Indian Summer Institute, Discover Law Plus Program/Native American Scholars Program (NA-PLUS), IAIA Associated Student Government – Vice President, American Indian Higher Education Consortium Student Congress (AIHEC) – Vice President & President, Native Youth Leadership Alliance (NYLA) – 2013 Fellow. Alli hopes to utilize her education by progressing onto law school to obtain a broader perspective of the Western law system and a J.D, or earn a Masters in Tribal Administration and Policy. Alli recently launched her organization called Očetí Šakówín Scholars Alliance (OSSA), which currently is still in it’s early stages of operation focusing on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe for now, and will later branch out, to relatives/tribal nations within the Očetí Šakówín in South Dakota/North Dakota. OSSA was created to promote education and create a mentorship program for Lakota/Dakota/Nakota high school students by utilizing current/graduated Lakota/Dakota/Nakota college undergraduates to mentor high school students through their junior and senior years and successfully into college.
Keioshiah Peter (Diné) is of the Folded Arms People Clan and born for the Mexican People Clan. She is from Kirtland, New Mexico and is currently a senior pursing a dual degree in Native American Studies with a concentration in Indigenous Knowledge Systems with a minor in Women Studies and also Sociology with a concentration in Human Services and Social Policy. Her knowledge, curiosity, and concern for her family and respected Native Nation have shaped her into an individual who is willing to apply her skills and knowledge to betterment of her community. After she completes her undergraduate programs, Keioshiah plans to attend a graduate program to further engage with inequalities of race, gender, societal, and health currently affecting the autonomy and nationhood of Indigenous peoples. Keioshiah’s current research examines how settler colonialism has impacted discourses surrounding sexual health and perceptions of sexuality for Diné people. Keioshiah believes that an efficient decolonial paradigm derives from the perspectives, experiences, and philosophical principles of her people. All her knowledge and being is a testament of her interconnectivity that she shares with her family, community, people, relations, and land. (Twitter – @Keioshiahp Instagram – @Keioshiahp #SexIsCeremony #RezCondomTour)
Dana Pinto is a proud young Navajo Woman from a small community on the eastern part of the Navajo reservation called Lybrook, NM. She is of the Red People Bottom Clan, born for the Mexican Clan, her maternal grandfather is of the Hopi Pueblo, and her paternal grandfather is of the Red Running Into the Water People clan. She is a 2014 graduate of Navajo Preparatory School and is currently attending the University of New Mexico. She is currently majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in the Navajo Language. Her dream is to go on to Law School and pursue her legal career as a Defense Attorney. She is deeply rooted in her Navajo Culture and looks forward to working and representing her family, her community, and her Diné people.
Lennixx-Rodney Lee is Mnicoujou Lakota and Dakota. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. He grew up in the town of Eagle Butte, South Dakota. After graduating from T.F. Riggs High School in Pierre, South Dakota, Lennixx began attending the University of Minnesota. Now in his senior year, Lennixx will soon complete two majors: Studies in Cinema & Media Culture (Honors) and American Indian Studies. He also has minor in Creative Writing. Lennixx’s main focus of study is contemporary representations of Native peoples in film and television. His ongoing honors thesis delves into death and gendered lenses in these representations. Lennixx’s passion lies in writing. A component of his thesis allows him to use the screenwriting abilities he acquired during his undergraduate years. He will graduate in May and is currently seeking out opportunities on the West Coast (including grad school) to move towards his goal of becoming a television writer. Lennixx believes that if one desires better representation, or any representation at all, then one has to have a hand in creating it.
Chasity Salvador is proudly from the Pueblo of Acoma located in Southwest New Mexico. She is big Sun clan and little Eagle clan by her parents and has two lovely sisters and one younger brother all of which inspire her every day to continue the work she does. She is currently a policy assistant with the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education in Washington D.C and is in her junior year at Stanford University where she is studying Sociology and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. She is primarily interested in the intersection of race and environmental and educational policy. After her time at Stanford, she plans to study tribal law and policy. She loves to go hiking and running and spend time at Old Acoma– the mesa with all her cousins.
Whitney Sawney is a citizen of Cherokee Nation. She is currently a senior at the University of Arkansas as a double major in Political Science and International Relations. She also serves as a member of the National Native Youth Cabinet for the National Congress of American Indians. Her goals are to pursue a dual degree in Social Work and Law so that she can advocate for Native Youth and implement policies that help improve access to higher education. She is also passionate about youth resiliency and mental health advocacy. “Most recently, Whitney attended the first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering, and is an ambassador for the Generation Indigenous Native Youth Network. Currently, she is working on her Generation Indigenous project which is called “Beautifully Native,” a video project about native female empowerment. More information will be released on this project in September of 2015.”
Taylor Schad grew up at the base of the Black Hills, in Rapid City, SD. She has spent the last four years at Stanford University working towards her bachelors in Native American Studies with honors in Education. Her senior thesis focused on the representation of Native Americans in US high school history textbooks used in the South Dakota school system. Over the last few years she has collaborated with various programs through her university, some of which include Rural America Initiatives and Partnership with Native Americans. Taylor is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and currently living in Mission, SD as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Boys and Girls Club of Rosebud in which she serves as their Resource Development Specialist and Cultural Education Coordinator.
Kirsten Shaw is proudly Oglala Lakota Sioux and was born in New Haven, CT. She is currently a freshman in college. She wants to be an artist when she grows up and dreams of being one of the few Native American employees at Pixar Animation Studios.
Justin Susan is a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. He is a senior at Centennial High School in Peoria, AZ. He is highly interested in writing and hopes to major in creative writing at a university. Having experience with both reservation and city life has been beneficial as he sees the importances of both. Justin is extremely passionate about his cultures and writes hard to impact the young lives of his people. He completed writing an 80,000 word novel on the plot of a young teen who over comes adversity while adding the cultures of Native Americans. The novel is currently in the process of editing and faithfully soon in the process of publication.
Sinéad Talley is a Karuk tribal member and Yurok descendant from Orleans, a rural town along the Klamath River in northern California. She is currently studying at Stanford University and is on track to graduate this June, earning a BA in Human Biology with Honors in Education. Her academic interests include American Indian mental health, public policy, community-based health, and equitable education for students from marginalized backgrounds.”
Celeste Kimimila Terry is a proud member of the Oglala Sioux tribe. She is founder and web development director of Thinking Indigenous: An Indigenous Youth Network, founded to help connect and empower Indigenous youth on an International level. Co-president on the youth advisory board for the Education Global Access Program, member on the board of directors for the National Urban Indian Youth Alliance, as well as a Generation Indigenous Youth Ambassador. Celeste graduated from Overland High School and is an undergrad at Metropolitan State University of Denver pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Applied Indigenous Law & Science. As an ‘Urban Indian’ – she has been driven to connect urban/non-reservation tribal youth with their communities. Her dream is to inspire, educate and empower youth to collaborate positive changes in their respective communities on/ off reservations, and world-wide. Celeste also spending time with family, snowboarding, longboarding, coding, music and poetry. Website: CelesteKimimila[.]com
MC Rhetorik aka Sheldon Tenorio, is a Pueblo Native from Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico. He states, “Life is simple. You do what you must for those you love. I am a being in a universe with endless possibilities. To find purpose can be ones hugest aspiration. My passion lies in the arts and comes with samples of finding this peace. Poetry, spoken word, rhyme and lyrics all have been a major part of my upbringing. I didn’t start rapping until I was in high school, but filling blank pages started the moment I learned how to read and write. It wasn’t until I understood the sacred craft of creativity, connection, history, and upliftment I wanted to spread this healing in my own way.” He has traveled throughout Turtle Island to build his name and to uplift those who he crosses paths with. He Recently released this mixtape entitled “Abstract Thoughts- The mixtape” under True Pride Music. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
Ernest Weston, Jr. an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the community of Porcupine, SD. Ernest is currently an undergraduate at South Dakota State University where he is majoring in Political Science and minoring in American Indian Studies. Some of Ernest’s research includes, examining American Indian males in higher education and why there are so few in higher education, especially non-tribal institutions. Also, research on dogs on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations and ethnographic research on why there are so little American Indian students studying to become engineers. Ernest is also involved in leadership building and collaboration and is currently working on creating a state wide American Indian Student Association for the state of South Dakota and American Indian students in non-tribal institutions where the support is needed. Recently, Ernest, a member of the Oak Lake Tribal Writer’s Society was named the 2015 Great Plains Emerging Tribal Writer at the 39th Annual Great Plains Writer’s Conference. Ernest also serves on the nation American Indian Studies Association board as a student representative. Ernest is passionate about creating a voice for American Indian students in academia as well as nation building.
Nikwich Wright is from Nixon, Nevada as well as enrolled in the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, but also Yurok. He grew up on the Pyramid Lake Reservation and graduated from Pyramid Lake Jr./Sr. High School in 2011. He began his collegiate undergraduate career after high school at Stanford University, and currently, majoring in English but also in mid-decision to double major in Native American Studies. He plans to move onto his Graduate career in the School of Education at University of Nevada, Reno and possibly becoming either an English teacher or a Native Studies teacher at his high school. Knowing about how effective an education is, he wants to bring what he learned back to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in hopes younger generations will understand the ideal of “power within knowledge.” He enjoys singing Circle Dance songs as well as sing with his family’s drum group at various Powwows in Nevada and California.
Pévevóona’o, Haáahe Netonêševehe, Néso’eóeve Nátsėhéstahe. Kaden Walksnice‘s name is TwentyStands, from the Northern Cheyenne Nation between the Rosebud and Tongue River Valley’s in Southeastern Montana. His western society educational focus is on Tribal Historic Preservation, Cultural Resource Management, Natural Resource Management and Geospatial Information Technology. He is currently a co-founding member of EcoCheyenne and organization created by young Northern Cheyenne Tribal members who are taking over the fight against coal development threatening sacred sites. He is also a member of the Native Youth Leadership Alliance representing the Northern Cheyenne Nation and state of Montana. Culturally, he was raised by his grandfather and grandmother since he was two years of age because creator called my parents’ home. His grandfather was a Chief for the Northern Cheyenne and through him Kaden learned how to be a Cheyenne male, and attended Chiefs Society meetings, Society meetings and ceremonies as a young boy. He is currently a CrazyDog Warrior in the Northern Cheyenne CrazyDogs Traditional Military Society.
Megan Red Shirt Shaw is an activist, writer, and college admissions professional who is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux tribe. She earned her bachelors degree from the University of Pennsylvania in English with a Creative Writing focus, and will be attending Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education to pursue her Masters in Higher Education this fall. She is the founder of Natives In America, an online literary publication for Native American, Alaska Native & Native Hawaiian youth. Currently living in the Bay Area, she loves the written word, learning about projects for Indigenous youth and the idea that a college education opportunity can change one’s trajectory forever. Her favorite phrase her mother ever taught her in Lakota is “Weksuye, Ciksuye, Miksuye” meaning “I remember, I remember you, Remember me.” Twitter: mredshirtshaw
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