Sallie Andrews (Wyandotte)
Sallie Andrews is a native of Tulsa, OK, and has lived in Texas since 1977. She is a citizen of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma and is a seated Faithkeeper in the Wandat Springs Longhouse in Wyandotte, OK. She is of the Deer Clan. Sallie is a member of the Daughters of Aataentsic committee associated with the University of Saskatchewan and with them has served as a contributor to two books on Wyandot women’s history. Sallie was a founding member and past chair of the Historical and Cultural Committee of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma where she served for more than 20 years. In 2012, she co-chaired an exhibit of century-old Wyandotte artifacts loaned from the Canadian Museum of Civilization for display at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History at the University of Oklahoma. She is the former Manager of Historic Preservation for the City of Grapevine, Texas, and a Texas Main Street Manager. She has developed a number of museum exhibits and historic markers and is currently the consultant on a large public arts project.
Barbara Aston (Wyandotte)
Barbara Aston serves as the Special Assistant to the Provost/Tribal Liaison/Director of Native American Programs at Washington State University. She is a citizen of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma and of the Big Turtle Clan. She provides support for the Native American Advisory Board to the President representing twelve tribes and directs Native American early outreach, recruitment, retention services, graduate student outreach and services, the Plateau Center for Native American Research and Collaboration, and the Tribal Nation Building Leadership Program. Barbara is a life-long learner, attaining each of her degrees while employed and caring for her family as daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother. She most recently completed a Master’s of Jurisprudence in Indian Law. Since 2010, she has been actively supportive of and involved with the reestablishment of the Green Corn Ceremony for members of the Wyandotte/Wyandot Nations at the Wandat Springs Longhouse and assisted with the planning for the first Wyandotte/Wyandot/Wendat Women’s Conference in 2016.
Brian Barlow (Cherokee)
A resident of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, a graduate of Tahlequah High School, and a Gates Millennium Scholar, Brian serves as the Academic Intervention Specialist for the Native American Support Center. Brian is a 2016 graduate of The George Washington University in Washington, DC where he studied Public Policy and Statistics.
Monty Begaye (Navajo)
Monty Begaye is a member of the Navajo Nation and is currently a Graduate Research Fellow in the Education Leadership and Policy Studies Department at the University of Oklahoma. He is also a second-year doctoral student in the Adult and Higher Education program in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at OU.
Brenda Bradford (Muscogee Creek)
Brenda Bradford is a citizen of the Muscogee Creek Nation of Oklahoma. She is the head of Special Collections and Archives at Northeastern State University. Brenda has worked in Archives for 9 years and became head of the departments in 2014. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Visual Communications and two master’s degrees in Communications and Higher Education Leadership both from Northeastern State University.
Patty Burnside (Wyandotte)
Patty Burnside Garrison was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she lived for seven years before living with her grandparents in Pawnee, Oklahoma, where her grandfather taught at the Pawnee Indian school. Patty is a citizen of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma and of the Bear Clan. She is a seated Faithkeeper for the Wandat Springs Longhouse in Wyandotte, Oklahoma. After finishing school, Patty worked in the medical field for 20 years as a supervisor for Medical Management Consultants. She was most proficient in personal care, always seeking to provide the best care possible for employees and the clients and patients that they served. She received numerous recognitions for her contributions. She was then self-employed for eight years in the oil business as corporate Secretary for New Trend Resources. Living near Wyandotte, Oklahoma, Patty and family members have been actively involved with the Wyandotte Nation and she served for many years as a member of the Cultural Committee.
Folsom directs the digitization program for the many types of collections housed at the Gilcrease Museum, including Archives, Art and Anthropology materials. She worked in the field of museum technology for over 25 years prior to coming to Tulsa from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She is also a visual artist.
Dr. Renee Cambiano
Dr. Cambiano has published and presented at regional, national, and international conferences. She has published chapters such as Infusing yourself into the backstory: A multidimensional case study perspective, Sequencing instruction in global Learning communities and Learning styles relating to adult students. Her research interests include learner-centric instruction, innovative immersive learning environments, cultivating global-minded citizens, online instruction, curriculum reform, the ubiquitous infusion thinking (UIT) strategy, internationalizing teacher education, community-based leadership, reform, and educational equity. She has received the NSU Circle of Excellence in Research, the College of Education Outstanding Faculty in Research, Oklahoma Higher Education Conference Innovation in Teaching and Learning award and in 2016 received the President’s Model the Way award.
Ezekiel Choffel is a doctoral candidate in the Composition and Cultural Rhetoric at Syracuse University. His research focuses on land as a rhetorical agent, Indigenous Rhetorics, decolonial theory, and land based knowledge. His dissertation focuses on the impact of oil pipelines in the Great Lakes Region and the ongoing fight for clean water across North America.
Kerri Keller Clement
Kerri Keller Clement is originally from Montana, where she completed both her B.A and M.A. in History at Montana State University, with some high school teaching experience thrown in for good measure. Her research includes the American West, non-human animals and horses in the American West, environmental history, and National Parks.
Sterling Cosper (Muscogee Creek Nation)
Sterling Cosper is the Manager of Mvskoke Media and started with the department six years ago after moving from his hometown, Wichita Kansas. He advocated for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation free press legislation passed in October 2015 as editor of the Muscogee Nation News and has continued to help reform the department to fit this model in his new capacity.
Darnella Davis, Ed.D.
As a Commercial Art student at Cass Technical High School, Darnella Davis received a scholarship to Parsons School of Design. The exposure to New York City would open many doors, such as studying French language and civilization at the University of Dakar (Senegal) and completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, from the University of Michigan, where she graduated cum laude. A believer in lifelong learning, Darnella obtained a Master’s of Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where she subsequently taught drawing and color theory. After a move to Washington, D.C, she continued teaching courses at Maryland College of Art and Design. The opportunity to influence education policy, while researching her cultural origins, drew her to pursue a doctorate in Education Policy at The George Washington University. Her topic: Federal Indian Education Policy, a study that asked how a culturally relevant curriculum engages our poorest performing student group, Native Americans.
During her subsequent career as a research analyst, Dr. Davis examined, wrote technical reports, and edited publications on equality of access to rigorous curricula for traditionally underperforming K-12 public school students, as well as on social justice issues among underserved and Native communities. In her work as a writer, researcher, artist, teacher, yoga practitioner, and samba enthusiast, Dr. Davis continues to explore diversity. She has consolidated many of her interests in Untangling a Red, White, and Black Heritage, A Personal History of the Allotment Era, a book that covers 130 years of her racially-mixed family history and its place in our nation’s current racial discourse. Her next project examines Alexis de Tocqueville’s prescient concerns about the long-term impacts of the three races co-inhabiting the U.S. in 1830 on prospects for an equalitarian democracy.
Dr. Angelina Dayton
Dr. Angelina Dayton, Immersive Learning Specialist, Center for Teaching and Learning, Northeastern State University; Everett Dayton, technical support specialist
Steve Denson (Chickasaw)
Steve Denson is the Director of MBA Diversity Initiatives and adjunct professor of Organization Behavior in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University (SMU). Denson is a member of the Chickasaw Nation and was named Native American of the Year in 2004 by the American Indian Chamber of Commerce, where he worked for over four years. He has received international acclaim for his outreach and for his help in establishing recruiting programs designed specifically to attract Native Americans to the workforce. He has served as Trustee of the American Indian College fund, which offers Native American students scholarships and other support for various tribal colleges. Denson provides strategic direction and coordination to all activities that recruit and support underrepresented students for business school programs at SMU. He leads the department’s most unique program, the Native American Initiative, which aims to actively reach out to Native Americans by providing resources and information about the opportunities of a business education.
Dr. Carl Farinelli
After completing his Master's degree in English and Counseling at SHSU, Farinelli began his educational career through the inner-city schools of Houston, Texas, where he served as a classroom teacher, hospital/ homebound teacher, and as the first white counselor at an all-black high school. When the US Justice Department forced the integration of that school, Farinelli used his Job Corps background to coordinate the curriculum development of an alternative high school for the district. He then went on to become the principal of a predominately Hispanic elementary school, where he helped to engineer a dramatic turnaround in the school's test scores in just three years. Next he was named principal of a magnet school for the creative and performing arts and was later asked to lead the Apple School of the Future. In 1988, Dr. Farinelli was hired by Northeastern State University. He has taught a variety of graduate courses in NSU’s College of Education including Fundamentals of Curriculum Development 1, Instructional Leadership, Fundamentals of Public School Administration & Supervision, Public School Relations, School Facilities Management, and others. It was during his years as a public school educator that Farinelli was listed three times in the Outstanding Young Men of America publication and in 1977 was placed in the National Job Corps Hall of Fame. During his years at NSU, Farinelli also distinguished himself through his work in the community and area though many presentations and writing. Farinelli was named the winner of the 2000-2001 Faculty Circle of Excellence Award for Teaching, the 2009 recipient of the “Modeling the Way” award, and was named a NSU Centurion in 2012.
Breanna Faris (Cheyenne & Arapaho)
Breanna Faris is a Ph.D. student in the Adult and Higher Education program at the University of Oklahoma. Breanna is from Watonga, Okla., and is citizen of the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes. She currently serves as the Assistant Director of Student Life for American Indian Programs and Services at the University of Oklahoma. Her research interests center around identity development for Native students.
Shara Francis-Herne (Kanienkehaka/Mohawk Nation)
Shara Francis-Herne is a member of the Kanienkehaka/Mohawk Nation and is from the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory where she has resided most of her life. She holds a BA in Psychology, and is working toward a Master of Eductation in Higher Educational Leadership at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. She currently works as a Learning Specialist with the Texas Christian University Athletic Academic Services Office. Her primary role is to provide academic intervention and life skill building to student athletes who may be experiencing learning difficulties. She has worked both on reserve and off.
Betty Frogg (Cherokee)
Betty Frogg, Cherokee Nation National Treasure, Second Grade Teacher, Cherokee Nation Immersion School
Tiffanie Hardbarger (Cherokee)
Devon Isaacs, B.A. (Cherokee)
Devon Isaacs is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. In 2016, Devon received the American Indian Mentorship Award from Northeastern State University’s Center for Tribal Studies for her work in conducting research to benefit Native American peoples. Currently, Devon is a doctoral student at Utah State University in the Clinical/Counseling Combined PhD program with an emphasis in Rural/Multicultural Psychology. She is a recipient of the Presidential Doctoral Research (PDRF) Fellowship and the American Indian Support Project Scholarship. Her research focuses on the intersection of culture and mental health, with an emphasis on risk and protective factors for Native American youth. Devon has a passion for mentoring ethnic minority undergraduate students in conducting research and hopes to teach at the university level to address the need for providing culturally relevant support to diverse students seeking careers in the social sciences. She also hopes to contribute to the field of mental health by working with her tribe to build on empirical research and culturally competent therapeutic practice.
Penelope M. Kelsey, Ph.D.
Penny Kelsey is of Seneca descent (patrilineal) with family roots in western New York and Pennsylvania. She received her BA from Manchester College and her PhD from Minnesota. She studies Native American literature, language, film, and theory. Her first book, Tribal Theory in Native American Literature: Dakota and Haudenosaunee Writing and Worldviews
, was published by University of Nebraska Press in 2008; her second book, Reading the Wampum: Essays on Hodinöhsö:ni’ Visual Code and Epistemological Recovery
, was published by Syracuse University Press in 2014. She edited a collection of essays, Strawberries in Brooklyn: Maurice Kenny Considered
, which appeared with SUNY Press in 2011 and won the Woodcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers Best Literary Criticism Award. Her current project is Sovereign Stories and Subjectivities
, which considers how indigenous languages embed alternate subjectivities, temporalities, and historiographies into Native literature and narrative.
Chebon Kernell is currently the Executive Secretary of Native American and Indigenous Ministries of the United Methodist Church. He graduated from Oklahoma City University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with an emphasis on Law and from Phillips Theological Seminary earning a Masters of Divinity. Chebon is traditional practitioner of Seminole and Muscogee Creek heritage.
Farina King (Diné)
Bilagáanaa niliigo’ dóó Kinyaa’áanii yásh’chíín. Bilagáanaa dabicheii dóó Tsinaajinii dabinálí. Ákót’éego diné asdzá̹ á̹ nilí̹. Farina King is “Bilagáanaa” (EuroAmerican), born for “Kinyaa’áanii” (the Towering House Clan) of the Diné (Navajo). Her maternal grandfather was EuroAmerican, and her paternal grandfather was “Tsinaajinii” (Blackstreaked Woods People Clan) of the Diné. She is Assistant Professor of History at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She received her U.S. History Ph.D. at Arizona State University. She was the 2016-2017 David J. Weber Fellow for the Study of Southwestern America at the Clements Centers for Southwest Studies of Southern Methodist University.
She was the 2015-2016 Charles Eastman Dissertation Fellow at Dartmouth College. She received her M.A. in African History from the University of Wisconsin and a B.A. from Brigham Young University with a double major in History and French Studies. Her main area of research is colonial and postcolonial Indigenous Studies, primarily Indigenous experiences of colonial and distant education. Her current book project, “The Earth Memory Compass,” explores how historical changes in education shaped Diné collective identity and community by examining the interconnections between Navajo students, their people, and Diné Bikéyah (Navajo lands) through the twentieth century. The study relies on Diné historical frameworks, mappings of the world, and the Four Sacred Directions.
To learn more about her work and background, visit her website at farinaking.com
Dr. Ben Kracht
Dr. Ben Kracht has taught at NSU for over 23 years. He teaches anthropology classes and American Indian Studies classes. His interests in American Indian cultures led to a B.A. in anthropology/history (Indiana University, 1979), followed by an M.A. in anthropology (University of Nebraska, 1982), and a Ph.D. in anthropology (Southern Methodist University, 1989). At SMU, he studied medical anthropology and began researching urban Indian health. By the end of his first year of doctoral work, he began researching Kiowa culture, religion, and history. Most of his publications pertain to Kiowa religion, including coverage of the Ghost Dance, dancing and shamanic societies, and indigenized Christianity. Kracht's book, Kiowa Belief and Ritual
(2017, University of Nebraska Press), delineates aboriginal Kiowa religious beliefs, and a forthcoming book pertains to religious revitalization among the Kiowas, including the Ghost Dance, Peyote, and indigenous Christianity. Dr. Kracht has also traveled to Central America with Dr. Erik Terdal to study Maya belief systems and the use of rainforest plant medicines. Each spring he teaches Field Methods in Ethnology and takes students to New Mexico during spring break to visit Acoma, Zuni, and Santo Domingo Pueblos. Dr. Kracht has published over 40 articles and book reviews, including entries in American Indian Religious Traditions
, American Indian Spirituality
, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture
, and Encyclopedia of North American Indians
. His 2012 article in the Chronicles of Oklahoma
, "'It Would Break Our Hearts Not to Have Our Kiowas': War Dancing, Tourism, and the Rise of Powwows in the Early Twentieth Century," won the Muriel Wright award for best article.
Scott M. Langston
Scott Langston teaches as a full-time faculty member in the Religion department at Texas Christian University (TCU). During his academic career, he has taught, researched, and published in the fields of American history, Southern Jewish history, Native American studies, and the reception history of the Bible. He has taught in a variety of contexts, including community college, university, and seminary settings. Langston is also an ambassador for American Indian Heritage Day in Texas and has been involved in organizing a number of Native American-related initiatives at TCU, including serving as faculty sponsor of the newly formed Native and Indigenous Student Association.
Dr. Kimberli Lee (Lakota)
Kimberli Lee is an associate professor in English and American Indian Studies at Northeastern State University. She is currently engaged in research that focuses on contemporary Native American Music as Sites of Resistance/Activism. Other research interests include Indigenous literacies, decolonial theory, Native women writers and cultural rhetorics.
Dr. Melissa Lewis (Cherokee)
Dr. Melissa Lewis is an assistant professor at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in the Department of Family & Community Medicine. Dr. Lewis received her PhD in Medical Family Therapy and is a licensed marriage and family therapist and an American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy approved supervisor. Her research interests span integrated care in Indigenous populations, preparing healthcare professionals to work with Indigenous populations effectively, examining the role of stress and trauma on cardiovascular disease in Indigenous populations, and interventions aimed to empower Indigenous families and communities by privileging Indigenous knowledge and practices.
Blain McLain is the Assistant in Archives and has held the position for the past 4 years. He earned a Bachelor’s of Art degree in Visual Communications from Northeastern State University
Wilhelm Meya is the Chief Executive Officer of The Language Conservancy. Mr. Meya is a national advocate for endangered languages and draws on more than 20 years of experience in higher education, linguistics, and nonprofit management. Under Mr. Meya's leadership, the Conservancy has become the chief promoter of worldwide action for protecting languages and preserving cultures.
Mic Jordan (Anishinaabe)
Mic Jordan is Anishinaabe from the Turtle Mountain Reservation, where music heavily influenced his childhood. As a Hip Hop artist and speaker, Mic Jordan speaks about his passion for life and where he came from. In addition to his musical endeavors, Mic also travels to communities and universities speaking directly to youth by using his voice to address issues of alcoholism, suicide, and the negative effects of Native mascots. He also shares his life story and how he overcame adversity. Mic spreads a positive message in hopes of a better understanding of the hip hop genre by continuing to change the minds of those who believe hip hop is only a form of verbal violence. Follow him on Twitter at @MicJordanMusic
Albert Nungaray graduated from Texas Christianity University in 2017 with a BA in History and Anthropology. He is a member of three honor Societies (Phi Theta Kappa, Lambda Alpha, and Phi Alpha Theta). Of Puebloan ancestry and from El Paso, Texas, he worked from 2010-2014 at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology as a Docent, Camp Instructor, and Storyteller, as well as handling cultural crafting, Social Media, and being founding Vice President of their Friends group. He was a founding member and officer of TCU's Native and Indigenous Student Association.
Zachary Nash graduated with a B.A. with Highest Honors in History and American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin, and is currently a first year PhD student at Southern Methodist University, where he studies American history.
Jason Salsman (Muscogee Creek Nation)
Jason Salsman is a graduate of the OU Gaylord College of Journalism and has been with the department for over a decade. He was the face of several important breaking broadcast pieces around the time of the free pressing passage and has since helped the editorial team present important tribal affairs to citizens through the department television program which airs on Tulsa CW19 every Saturday at 1 p.m. Gary Fife is a veteran of Native journalism as the founder of the National Native News radio program and has traveled around the country covering indigenous issues for decades. He has since settled with his tribe in Oklahoma where he provides his experience to the Mvskoke Media staff and applied it towards advocating for the tribal free press legislation in 2015.
Jaquetta Shade (Cherokee)
Jaquetta Shade-Johnson is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University. She is the 2017 Susan Applegate Krouse Graduate Research Fellow and a Cobell Scholar. Her research interests include cultural rhetorics, historiography, American Indian rhetorics, decolonial theory, food studies, and Indigenous methodologies. Jaquetta’s dissertation project focuses on rhetorical strategies of survivance in Cherokee foodways using oral history, embodied practice, land-based knowledge, and archival research methods.
Linda Sioui (Huron-Wendat First Nation)
Linda Sioui was born in Montreal in 1960. Of Wendat origin, she has pursued an interest in the culture and heritage of her people. Linda Sioui is the holder of a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Ottawa and a master’s degree in anthropology from Université Laval (Québec City). In 1983, Linda worked on indexing the field notes of the Quebec anthropologist Charles Marius Barbeau and, the following summer, visited the Wyandottes of Oklahoma on behalf of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. This initial contact was followed by other visits. Questions of identity, in relation to material culture and the revitalization of the ancestral language, have been a continual source of curiosity and concern for her. She is the author of “La réaffirmation de l’identité wendate/Wyandotte à l’heure de la mondialisation” (The Reaffirmation of Wendat / Wyandotte identity at a time of Globalization). Linda is a member of the Huron-Wendat First Nation and lives in the community of Wendake, just outside of Quebec City, Canada.
Tiffany Smith (Cherokee)
Tiffany Smith is a Ph.D. student at the University of Oklahoma in the Adult and Higher Education program. Tiffany is from Midwest City, Okla., and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She works as the Director of Engineering Student Life and more recently as the Director of the Women in Engineering Program at the University of Oklahoma, as well as serving as advisor to the OU chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society for the past eight years. Her research interests focus on Indigenous students' lived experiences in undergraduate engineering programs at non-Native institutions.
Corey Still (United Keetoowah Band)
Corey Still is a member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees and is currently a Native Language Instructor in the Department of Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He is also a third-year doctoral student in the Adult and Higher Education program in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at OU.
Ashley Stoddard is the Historical Specialist in Special Collections, and has held the position for the last 3 years. She earned a Bachelor’s of Art degree in History and Geography from Northeastern State University.
Tall Paul (Anishinaabe/Oneida)
Tall Paul is an Anishinaabe and Oneida Hip-Hop artist enrolled on the Leech Lake reservation in Minnesota. Born and raised in Minneapolis, his music strongly reflects his inner-city upbringing. From personal expressions of self, to thought provoking commentary on issues affecting Indigenous and diverse communities as a whole, Tall Paul’s music evokes a wide variety of substance and soul. Check out his Soundcloud at soundcloud.com/tallpaul612
. Also follow @tallpaul612
Catherine Tammaro (Wyandot of Anderdon Nation)
Catherine Tammaro was born in Toronto, Province of Ontario, Canada, and raised in Toronto and the US. She received her Associate Degree from the Ontario College of Art. She has a 50 year history of art making, including fine art and award winning design, soundscape/installation, photographic/written journalism and extensive digital work and graphic design. Her multi-media works have been exhibited in both traditional and alternative gallery spaces and her written works have been published in various journals. Catherine has been involved in a wide array of interdisciplinary collaborations, ongoing special projects and themed exhibitions, as originator, curator, performer and exhibitor. She is currently working in collaboration with eight Wendat Confederacy women and Dr. Kathryn Magee Labelle as part of the Daughters of Aataentsic Project, which will culminate in the publication of a book and exhibition in 2020. Catherine is a citizen of the Wyandot of Anderdon Nation, and of the Small/Spotted Turtle Clan. She has become involved with helping to revitalize Wyandot culture in her community in partnership with fellow Confederacy members. In the Summer of 2017 she was seated as a Faithkeeper for the Anderdon Longhouse in Detroit, Michigan.
Melissa Tehee, J.D., Ph.D. (Cherokee)
Dr. Melissa Tehee is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She is an assistant professor at Utah State University in the Department of Psychology and Director of the American Indian Support Project (AISP). Dr. Tehee’s clinical and research interests are in addressing trauma across the lifespan. Her research has focused on bias/prejudice/racism, health disparities, and domestic violence and other trauma experienced by ethnic and racial minorities, especially American Indians. Her interdisciplinary training allows her to consider the convergence of these topics with law and policy. Her other interests include multicultural competence and mentoring ethnic minority students in higher education. She earned dual degrees in Clinical Psychology, Policy, and Law (Ph.D./J.D.) with a certificate in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy at the University of Arizona. Dr. Tehee has a Master of Science in Psychology from Western Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Nebraska.
Frank Waln (Sicangu Lakota)
Frank Waln is an award winning Sicangu Lakota Hip Hop artist, producer, and performer from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. A receipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship, Waln attended Columbia College where he received a BA in Audio Arts and Acoustics. Waln’s awards include three Native American Music Awards, a 3Arts Award, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development 2014 Native American 40 Under 40, and the 2014 Chicago Mayor’s Award for Civic Engagement. He has been featured in many publications, including USA Today, The Hollywood Reporter, Buzzfeed, The Chicago Tribune, and on MTV’s Rebel Music Native America episode. Frank Waln travels the world spreading hope and inspiration through performance and workshops focusing on self-empowerment and the pursual of dreams. Frank currently lives in Chicago, IL. Follow him on Twitter @frankwaln
Mark D. Williams (Choctaw)
Mark Williams is an award winning writer and director and founder of Native Boy Production and Digital Feather Media. Mark began his storytelling journey in 2006 with a short film using friends and family. That short film was titled The Dare and premiered at the Red Fork Film Festival in Tulsa. Since then he has been pursuing his dream making each project bigger and taking on new challenges. He has won numerous awards for his children’s comedy series The Adventures of Josie the Frybread Kid and a thriller he wrote and directed, Violet. Mark has also began documentary filmmaking with his two shorts, Beans and Shiloh which has won best documentary at several film festivals across the country. Mr. Williams is currently in pre-production on his feature film, Broken.
Tanaya Winder (Southern Ute/Duckwater Shoshone/Pyramid Lake Paiute)
Tanaya Winder is a writer, educator, motivational speaker, and spoken word poet from the Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone, and Pyramid Lake Paiute Nations. She grew up on the Southern Ute Indian reservation and attended college at Stanford University where she earned a BA in English. After college, she pursued her passion of poetry and received her graduate degree a MFA in creative writing from the University of New Mexico. Since then she has co-founded As/Us: A Space for Women of the World. Tanaya guest lectures, teaches creative writing workshops, and speaks at high schools, universities, and communities internationally. View her TED talk, Igniting Healing: Tanaya Winder at TEDxABQ
. You can follow her on Twitter at @tanayawinder