Upcoming Events

Member Education Sessions: Next Gen Now

Event Date: Jan 25, 2024 1pm- 2:30pm EST
Event Type: Virtual

Native Americans in Philanthropy is entering the new year by centering ourselves and our relatives on one of our most precious resources: the next generation. For Indigenous communities to not only survive but to thrive, Native youth must be considered and meaningfully included throughout programming and the philanthropic sector. Investment in and working alongside future leaders is imperative.

Members of Native Americans in Philanthropy’s Native Youth Grantmakers program alongside our moderator, Stephine “Steph” Poston (Pueblo of Sandia), and guest speakers Kelley Mitchell (Diné), Dr. Amanda Tachine (Navajo), Vernon Miller (Omaha), and Tesia Zientek (Citizen Potawatomi), discuss how philanthropy can serve Indigenous youth, through the lens of education, in impactful and culturally relevant ways while creating opportunities for success and sustainment in Indian Country.

Watch the broadcast now on NAP’s YouTube Channel and be sure to subscribe to the NAP YouTube channel for more informative and important resources on Native communities.

About the Series: 
Native Americans in Philanthropy welcomes you to engage in a gathering of nonprofits, philanthropy, emerging leaders, and Indigenous communities for discussions and collaborative action for building philanthropy rooted in Indigenous traditions and values. 

This session is available to the public as a highlight of our member benefits. For more information on NAP Memberships, please email Rod Jacobs at rjacobs@nativephilanthropy.org. 

Our curated education sessions of virtual conversations, panels, and speakers represent the diversity of Indian Country and the experiences of Indigenous Peoples in what is now known as America. These sessions are designed for NAP members working in philanthropy and will focus on how philanthropy can operate differently to center Indigenous perspectives.
Through these sessions, NAP is passing the mic to individuals, Tribes, and Indigenous-led nonprofits who are experts in their respective fields. This platform will foster an informed membership that will lead the shifting of the philanthropic sector in deeper, more impactful ways that serve the people, communities, and causes they care about.


KELLEY MITCHELL (Diné) (she/her)
Program Officer – College Access and Success, American Indian College Fund

Kelley Mitchell has worked in education since 2010, serving Native American students at both the college and high school levels. She is an expert in Tribal education, holistic student support, and college access and success programming.

In her current role, Mitchell leads the College Fund’s work in college access, and scholar retention and completion. Each year, her team fulfills the responsibility of serving over 1,200 scholars with culturally relevant programming to support American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students attending over 100 institutions of higher education across the U.S., including all 35 Tribal colleges and universities (TCUs). Additionally, she oversees college access work in high schools on or near Tribal reservations with over 60 schools and partners annually. Mitchell leads this work with a deep understanding of the AI/AN experience since she comes from a family of TCU graduates, including herself.
Mitchell received her bachelor’s degree in museum studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts, a TCU in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she also served as an admissions recruiter following her graduation. She is passionate about Tribally centered education, having served as a college engagement counselor for the Native American Community Academy (NACA), a K-12 charter school in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and as a founding board member for the American Indian Academy of Denver in Colorado. Kelley continues to support AI/AN student college access and encourages students to make their mark with confidence in themselves and their cultural identity as Native people.

In 2022, Mitchell was named the Inventive Innovator at the College Fund, which celebrates an employee who solves problems with unique and creative solutions. In 2023, Kelley received the Clever Communicator award, an achievement given to those who best present information in a precise, effective, and original manner.

DR. AMANDA R. TACHINE (Navajo) (she/her)
Assistant Professor, Arizona State University

Dr. Amanda R. Tachine is Navajo from Ganado, Arizona. She is Náneesht’ézhí Táchii’nii (Zuni Red Running into Water) born for Tł’ízí łání (Many Goats). She is an Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership & Innovation at Arizona State University. Amanda’s research explores the relationship between systemic and structural histories of settler colonialism, and the ongoing erasure of Indigenous presence and belonging in college settings using qualitative Indigenous methodologies. She is the author of, Native Presence and Sovereignty in College and co-editor of Weaving an Otherwise: In-relations Methodological Practice. She has published in the Journal of Higher Education, Qualitative Inquiry, International Review of Qualitative Research, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and other scholarly outlets. She also has published thought pieces in the Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, The Hill, Teen Vogue, Indian Country Today, Inside Higher Ed, and Navajo Times where she advances ideas regarding discriminatory actions, educational policies, and inspirational movements. 

VERNON MILLER (Omaha) (he/him)
Indigenous Leadership Initiatives Program Manager, Native Americans in Philanthropy

Vernon Miller is a member of the Thunder Clan from the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska & Iowa. Vernon is currently based in Boston, Massachusetts. He has worked in the field of education for over 19 years. Prior work includes higher education administration at Tufts University, Cornell University, Kansas State University, and as a former teacher at Omaha Nation Public Schools.  In addition, as a former Tribal leader, Vernon has served as the Omaha Tribal Chairman and President of the Omaha Nation Public Schools Board of Education. Miller is also a previous National Racial Equity & Healing Fellow with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and is on the National Diversity & Inclusion Board for the University of Nebraska.

Miller received his Master of Science in Counseling & Student Development from Kansas State University and his Bachelor of Science in Business Education from the University of Nebraska.

TESIA ZIENTEK (Citizen Potawatomi) (she/her)
Senior Director of Programs, American Indian Science and Engineering Society

Tesia Zientek is a Citizen of the Potawatomi Nation. With help from a Gates Millennium Scholarship, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 2009 with her B.A. in English. After graduation, Tesia spent two years teaching and running an afterschool program in Puerto Rico before pursuing her M.A. in Education Policy from Stanford University in 2013. To celebrate her achievements, Tesia has received the Howard Yackus Memorial, NextGen 30 Under 30, NCAIED Native American 40 Under 40, and Oklahoma Magazine 40 Under 40 awards. In 2015, she established her Tribe’s first Department of Education and served as Director through 2023. For ten years, Tesia also served as Potawatomi Leadership Program Advisor, building curriculum for the Harvard Honoring Nations Award-winning internship program. Tesia currently works for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) as Senior Director of Programs to promote the advancement of Indigenous people in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). She serves as President of the National Indian Education Association and President of the Oklahoma Council for Indian Education.


MODERATOR: STEPHINE "STEPH" POSTON, M.A. (Pueblo of Sandia) (she/her)
President & CEO, Poston & Associates, LLC

“Steph” was born and raised on the Sandia Pueblo Indian Reservation. She worked for her Tribe for eleven years before launching Poston & Associates, a full-service communications firm.

Steph’s expertise includes strategic facilitation, capacity-building training, leadership development, strategic communication, and event planning. She has worked with numerous Tribes and Tribal entities in New Mexico and throughout Indian Country on public relations and marketing campaigns, sacred site protection, voter empowerment, water rights, Tribal policy development, economic development, education, and healthcare. 

She is a co-founder of Native Women Lead and is the current Chairwoman of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts which hosts Indian Market.

Coming Soon 

We will soon welcome you to submit your event to be featured on our Events page. Whether it's a cultural gathering, educational seminar, or philanthropic initiative, your event plays a crucial role in fostering greater visibility and representation for Native communities in the philanthropic sector. Stay tuned!

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