Forty emerging leaders under the age of 40 in Indian country have been recognized by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) for their demonstrated leadership, initiative, and dedication and made significant contributions in business and/or in their community.
The 2016 “Native American 40 Under 40” award winners will be presented the National Center’s 41st Annual Indian Progress in Business awards Gala (INPRO) being held at RES New Mexico, November 14-17, at the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Tickets are $100 per plate or a table, or tables, of 10 can be purchased for $900. Register for the INPRO Gala here.
The award winners are:
Nicole Ducheneaux, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal member and attorney for the Tribe
Danielle Ta’Sheena Finn, the first member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to win the title of Miss Indian World at the 33rd annual Gathering of Nations Powwow in Albuquerque in April 2016.
Sarai Geary, a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, program manager for the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, and a staff attorney for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reintegration Program
Ellen Harju, a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe
Sarah Harris, Mohegan, chief of staff, assistant secretary for the Burea of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior, in Washington, D.C.
Kathryn Isom-Clause, Taos Pueblo, associate commissioner seat on the National Indian Gaming Commission
Thomas Jones, a member of the Cherokee Nation / Naknek Village Council
Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton, a member of the Cherokee Nation and a freelance reporter based out of Tulsa, Okla., specializing in tribal affairs
Kishan Lara-Cooper, Yurok Tribe, a childhood education professor at Humboldt State University
Kelsey Leonard, a member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, represents her tribe as the tribal co-lead on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body of the U.S. National Ocean Council, and also serves on the Shinnecock Natural Resources
Cory Littlepage, an enrolled member of Chickasaw Nation, founded Tribal Diagnostics in October 2015. As the CEO, he is responsible for strategic growth and operations of the company. He has over 15 years of experience in the healthcare field.
Chad Marchand, a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, serves as the project coordinator for the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions and Haury Native Nations Climate Adaptation Programs.
Nakina Mills, Oglala Lakota Nation, is the director of Advancement and Alumni Support at Red Cloud Indian School. She began working at Red Cloud Indian School in the fall of 2012, and is also an alumna, having graduated from Red Cloud in 1998. She was also a member of the Red Cloud Board of Directors prior to accepting her current position.
Rebecca Nagle, Cherokee Nation, co-director of the National Indian Women’s Resource Center, is a nationally recognized leader in the movement to end sexual and domestic violence and is the co-director and co-founder of Force: Upsetting Rape Culture and the Monument Quilt. The Monument Quilt is an on-going collection of stories from survivors of rape and abuse.
Mindy Natt, a member of the Yurok Tribe, serves on the Yurok Tribal Council, Pecwan District
Heather Pouliot VanZil, Forest County Potawatomi Community council member
Cary Lee Rosenbaum II, Confederated Tribes Of The Colville Reservation, journalist and regular contributor to Indian Country Today Media Network
Linda Sacks – Cherokee Nation, journalist and author at Native News Online
Cheyenne Sanders, a Yurok Tribal member and recent graduate of Cornell University Law School who now serves as a lawyer for her tribe
Stephanie Sfiridis, a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and Legal Extern to Tribal Gaming Authority for her tribe, Sfiridis graduated from the Arizona State University College of LawDoctor of Law (J.D.), Indian Legal Program in 2016.
Casey Sixkiller, a member of the Cherokee Nation, founded Sixkiller Consulting, which helps clients successfully navigate the intersection of policy, regulation, and politics in the nation’s capital and beyond.
Tanaya Winder is a poet, writer, artist and educator who was raised on the Southern Ute reservation in Ignacio, CO. An enrolled member of the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe, her background includes Southern Ute, Pyramid Lake Paiute, Navajo, and Black heritages. Tanaya writes and teaches about different expressions of love (self love, intimate love, social love, community love, and universal love).
Natalie Youngbull, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, recently received her docorate from The University of Arizona