Our Leadership

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Enei Begaye - Executive Director / Film Producer / Website Designer / Organizer / Banner-Maker / Janitor

Enei is of the Diné & Tohono O’odham Nations, and married into the Gwich’in Nation. Enei has spent years community organizing, training, facilitating, and causing a ruckus.  Over the past 15 years she has served on various national environmental justice boards and network steering committees. She is a co-founder and former director of the Black Mesa Water Coalition and a former water campaigner for the Indigenous Environmental Network. Enei was named one of Utne Readers “50 visionaries who are changing our world," but more importantly she is a dirt loving, vegetable growing, fabric addicted, bookworm, and a fierce mother.  She was educated both on Dinétah --the land of her people-- and the halls of Stanford University. She is based out of Fairbanks, Alaska. 

 

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Misty Nickoli - Operations Manager

Misty is Denaá of the Gaałh Doh (Kaltag) and Tsimshian of Metlakatla. Her younger years were spent in Gaałth Doh and in the summers at fish camp. She took the words of her elders to heart and became involved in social justice work -- at the age of fifteen she gave a call to action to break the cycle of alcohol abuse in family systems at a Suicide Prevention Conference in Koyukuk, AK. She has continued to work as an advocate for positive change and health promotion utilizing Indigenous cultural values, mores and knowledge. Misty has worked as a nurse in public health and in the Army Reserves.  While working as a nurse in public health she became a founder, strategist and core group member of the “Free the Fairbanks Four” Alaskan wrongful incarceration movement which resulted in the release of four innocent Indigenous men who spent a combined 72 years in prison. Misty earned her B.A. in Psychology through the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in the Spring of 2015. She is a founder of Breadcrumbs Theater (currently working directly with incarcerated youth) & board member of Blossom House (a space for healing through the arts, sharing & yoga). Misty is a mother of three young men, an artist, a writer, a speaker, an actor, a healer as well as a hunter & gatherer.

 

Christina Edwin - Organizer Unlimited

Christina is Dene and Latina. As an Indigenous Woman she is truly invested in an organizing practice that is holistic. She studies discourses on social justice, Indigenous rights and knowledge systems, and environmental justice.  As a student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and as a Native Movement organizer she is focused on Native student organizing efforts, building meaningful partnerships in organizing, and facilitating the creation of more stories told by Native people. She will be graduating from UAF with a Bachelors of Arts in Rural Development and a minor in Alaska Native Languages in the Spring of 2018. She has worked locally, regionally, and nationally on grassroots campaigns to advocate for community-driven Just Transition solutions based on Indigenous world-views. She enjoys dancing, yoga, and cooking traditional foods.

 

Princess Johnson - Trainer/Advisor

Princess is Neet'saii Gwich'in from Arctic Village, Alaska. She is the former Executive Director of the Gwich'in Steering Committee. She is also a published writer, actor and film director.


 

Board Members

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Cathy Tagnak Rexford

Tagnak is Alaska Native and a writer.  She has received fellowships from the First Peoples' House of Learning and the Rasmuson Foundation. Cathy was also selected for Perseverance Theatre's Playwright's Circle.  She is currently working on her play, Whale Song, as well as writing a series of children's books set in Northern Alaska.  

 

Jody Juneby Potts

Jody is Han Gwich’in and an enrolled tribal member of the Native Village of Eagle and is a Doyon shareholder. Jody is a Sergeant Village Public Safety Officer, being the first female sergeant.  She is currently the director of public safety at Tanana Chiefs Conference. In addition to Native Movement's board, Jody also serves on the Governor’s Tribal Advisory Council and has been appointed by Governor Walker to the Alaska Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Jody graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Indigenous Studies with an emphasis in Environmental Management. In 1998 Jody was crowned Miss National Congress of American Indians.  Jody was named the Doyon Youth Shareholder of the Year in 1999.  She has worked as a wild land firefighter, English teacher in Mongolia, substance abuse counselor and wilderness guide.

She is also an Ironman triathlete who has competed in triathlons around the country.  She has been a dog musher and world traveler.  Jody believes in maintaining a balance of her traditional culture and our modern world. Jody lives in Fairbanks with her three children, Isaiah, Quannah and Denali, all of whom accompany her on adventures in Alaska and around the world.

 

Dr. R. Cruz Begay-Spence

Dr. Begay-Spence is a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation (AZ) and has spent over 20 years working in community health with rural, underserved, and American Indian populations.   She received masters and doctoral degrees in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Begay has served on the board of directors for many rural health and Native American organizations.  She joined the faculty of the Health Sciences department faculty at Northern Arizona University and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Public Health including sociocultural and behavioral aspects of health and health disparities.