8 Native Women Fighting to Preserve Their Culture

Photo by Carlotta Cardana

The September issue of Marie Claire (UK) magazine features eight strong and beautiful Native American women who are working hard to preserve their culture for future generations. Let's take a quick look at who they featured!

Photo by Carlotta Cardana
Photo by Carlotta Cardana

Evereta Thinn
Age: 30
Tribe Affiliation: Diné (Navajo)
Occupation: Administrator at a Shonto School District

She aspires to start a language and cultural immersion school for the Diné (Navajo) people.

Photo by Carlotta Cardana
Photo by Carlotta Cardana

Alayna Eagle Shield (left) and Tonia Jo Hall (right)
Age: 24
Tribe Affiliation: Lakota & Arikara
Occupation: Teacher in the Lakota Language Nest Head Start program/Medical student

Alayna currently holds a seat in the National Native Youth Cabinet under the National Congress of American Indians (CNAI). You already know Tonia Jo from her hilarious comedy.

Photo by Carlotta Cardana
Photo by Carlotta Cardana

Shawn Little Thunder
Age: 26
Tribe Affiliation: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
Occupation: Poet / Singer / Songwriter

Rez Poetry: ‘Wičhóiye Wašaka' (Strong Words) was the name she coined for her open mic events. ‘That’s what I want to do, empower other Natives, especially the younger generations'.

Photo by Carlotta Cardana
Photo by Carlotta Cardana

Sage Honga
Age: 22
Tribe Affiliation: Hualapai, Hopi & Diné (Navajo)
Occupation: Server at W Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona

Sage earned the title of 1st attendant in the 2012 Miss Native American USA pageant.

Photo by Carlotta Cardana
Photo by Carlotta Cardana

Juliana Brown Eyes-Clifford
Age: 23
Tribe Affiliation: Oglala Lakota & Samoan
Occupation: Musician, photographer, film maker, artist

Juliana and her husband, Scotti Clifford, have formed the band, ‘Scatter Their Own' (which is the English translation for the word Oglala). They are self-taught musicians whose songs are about Mother Earth, social justice and Native American culture.

Photo by Carlotta Cardana
Photo by Carlotta Cardana

Kelli Brooke Haney
Age: 33
Tribe Affiliation: Seminole, Creek and Choctaw
Occupation: Musician / Artist

Kelli's the daughter of former Principal Chief of the Seminole Nation, Enoch Kelly Haney. In the early 2000s she formed a rockabilly band with her best friend called The Oh Johnny! Girls and also has a solo music project called Hudson Roar.

Photo by Carlotta Cardana
Photo by Carlotta Cardana

Juanita C. Toledo
Age: 28
Tribe Affiliation: Walatowa-Pueblo of Jemez
Occupation: Works for the Community Wellness Program on Jemez Pueblo Reservation

Growing up, Juanita was valedictorian of her charter school, President of the Native American Youth Empowerment (NAYE) group, and on the executive committee of UNITY (United National Indian Tribal Youth Organization). Today, she works for the Community Wellness program on her reservation and has truly influenced positive changes in the program and in her community.

Congrats ladies! To read the full bio for each lady please visit Marie Claire. More images and a full story will be available in the print version of the September issue of Marie Claire (UK).

Last Updated on August 6, 2018 by PowWow Articles

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

8 Comments on “8 Native Women Fighting to Preserve Their Culture”

  • Thank you young lady for carrying on on our people heritage may God bless you and all that you do and through all your life your brother a Cherokee

  • Andrea Robinson


    Beautiful photos and concept. It’s great to see these ladies do so much to preserve a cherished heritage. 🙂

  • Maynard Kahgegab


    I’m very proud of these remarkable woman!

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    When some one searches for his vital thing, therefore he/she needs to be available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained
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  • Maurice Byers


    Will any of Canada’s native women be featured? Were these all picked solely on appearance? They are all beautiful women from anyone’s viewpoint. I know they are smart and capable but I have seen native women who aren’t model gorgeous who are just as active as these very special people

    • Phillip Gun Rattles


      Meybe asks der Queen if she could do it…?

  • Patricia Sweet


    Thank you for liking our hand crafted jewelry and metal smithing in our shop on etsy or perhaps you saw our facebook page with JewelrybyDAC . We appreciate your efforts to promote Native artist . of all types , I was looking to see if a very special lady that I love as a sister was included in your list, I think Katherine Quartz, Flute player and teacher/story teller to various groups of youth, would be a great candidate for future inclusions you may be planning with her QUARTZ SONG C.D.. Katherine has been dealing with health issues lately ,so she’s been lying low doing her crafts and healing up.She has done a lot around Portland , Oregon,and Walker Lake Rez in Nevada.She was the opening flute player for Lance Armstrong@ at the Smithsonian Museum’s Native American Cancer conference a few years ago. I will pass on your information to her. Thanks

  • D. SeeWalker


    Thank you for sharing and posting 🙂 Watch for the October editions of Marie Claire in France and South Africa for MORE of the women that were part of this project! – DS

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