Winoka Yepa, Data & Research Associate

Native Americans in Philanthropy Team Member Winoka Yepa

Winoka Yepa (Diné), Data & Research Associate

Winoka Yepa (she/her/asdzaan), is Diné originally from Shiprock, New Mexico, which is located on the Navajo Nation, also known as Dinétah.

Yepa brings a wealth of experience from the arts, museum, and education fields. Most recently, Yepa was the Senior Manager of Museum Education at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. As a part of her role, Yepa re-established and developed the museum’s education program, re-designed the museum’s artist residency and mural program, developed curriculum centered in decolonial methodologies, and created more community-centered programming.

Yepa was also a graduate researcher for the University of New Mexico, in which she collaborated with the University of California- Los Angeles and the University of Arizona to develop a national study of Indigenous language immersion programs that identified Native communities’ efforts to strengthen their language education through immersion teaching methods. Yepa assisted in the development of a national database of Indigenous language immersion programs in the United States with the objective to support education practices for Native faculty and students. As a part of this study, Yepa co-authored an article that explores relationality and relational accountability in Indigenous education, contextualizing these processes within a current U.S.-wide study of Indigenous-language immersion (ILI) schooling.

Yepa is also a doctoral candidate in education at the University of New Mexico, in which her dissertation focuses on the development of a pilot program titled “The Reflection Project: A Study on Indigenous Identity and Storywork,” which aims to identify alternative and new representations of Indigenous identity from a decolonial framework, with emphasis on Indigenous epistemologies and storytelling.

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