Living Breath Team

Our Team

Our planning committee is composed of Indigenous women who represent interdisciplinary academic fields of study and philanthropy in the Northwest Coast; women who are committed to Indigenous food sovereignty and environmental justice, and whose lived and scholarly experiences, personal passions, and academic research are firmly grounded in their homelands and communities. We volunteer our time to host this annual community-driven event as we recognize the need to come together in dialogue and action as we build collaborative networks to sustain our Indigenous food practices and preserve our healthy relationships to the land, water, and all living things.

Dr. Charlotte Cote

Dr. Charlotte Coté is Associate Professor in American Indian Studies at the University of Washington. She has dedicated her personal and academic life to creating awareness around Indigenous health and wellness issues and in working with Indigenous peoples and communities…

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Dr. Dian Million

Dr. Dian Million (Athabascan) has been teaching in AIS since 2002. Dr. Million received her M. A. in Ethnic Studies in 1998 and her Ph. D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 2004. Currently Dr. Million is an Associate Professor in American Indian Studies and an Affiliated faculty…

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Dr. Clarita Lefthand Begay

Dr. Clarita Lefthand Begay is citizen of the Navajo Nation and an assistant professor in the University of Washington’s Information School. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the protections (e.g., tribal codes, laws, guidelines, declarations, etc.) for indigenous knowledge…

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Susan Balbas

The co-founder and executive director of The Na’ah Illahee Community and a community organizer, Susan Balbas holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Teaching. From 2007 to 2012, she was a training and technical assistance specialist for multiple tribal…

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Dr. Jessica E. Salvador

Dr. Jessica E. Salvador has over 15 years of program management and leadership experience across education, nonprofit, and consulting. Currently, Dr. Salvador is Co-Executive Director of People and Organization for Casa Latina. As a first-generation college graduate…

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Dana Arviso

Dana Arviso is returning to the UW College of Education where she earned her Masters in Education (’06) and completed her doctoral coursework with a focus on Language, Literacy & Culture. She spent the past decade working for Potlatch Fund, a Native American-led foundation…

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Bridget Ray

Bridget Ray (Ojibwe/michif) is Director of Philanthropic Relations for the Na’ah Illahee Fund. Bridget is of mixed cultural heritage born and was raised by the Salish Sea immersed in coastal Indigenous traditions. She graduated from Evergreen State College in 2003 with a BA/BS in Liberal Arts and…

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Tia Yazzie

Tia Yazzie is a Diné woman (Navajo) from the Navajo Reservation located in Arizona. She is from the One-Who-Walks-Around clan, born for the Bitter-Water clan. Her maternal grandparent’s clan is One-Who-Walks-Around and her paternal grandparent’s clan is Coyote Pass.

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