Sharen Kickingwoman. Photo Credit: Chasers of the Light


Advocacy, Policy, & Organizing Director

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Sharen Kickingwoman is a scholar, activist, advocate, and policy professional who is passionate about Indigenous rights, equity and education. Born and raised in Montana, Sharen is a proud member of the Gros Ventre and Blackfeet nations. She believes in enhancing tribal nations’ inherent sovereignty and that the best work for Native people is by Native people, by honoring our cultures and centering Indigenous ways of knowing. In all she does, she hopes to put Indigenous people at the forefront, and empower youth to use their voices to create change.

Sharen’s personal, professional, and academic interests are within higher education and advocacy. A former Senate Page, White House Intern, and Legislative Assistant on Indian Affairs, she cares deeply about the many ways policies impact Indigenous communities. 

Sharen has travelled throughout Indian Country and worked extensively in tribal communities working with tribal leaders and Native youth. She has served as an Upward Bound Counselor, trainer for the Native Wellness Institute, Native Vote organizer, and held many positions related to her activism.  She has also served as an Admission Counselor for Diversity Outreach at Stanford University where she managed Indigenous Outreach, ultimately increasing Indigenous representation in higher education.

Sharen earned her Master degree in Policy, Organization, and Leadership studies from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, where she focused on Native student access to higher education and models for success. She also holds a Bachelor degree from Stanford University in Sociology and Education. She has received numerous awards and has been recognized for her leadership on social justice issues such as NODAPL, MMIW, and issues of representation for Native people. She currently serves on the board of the Stanford Indigenous Alumni Association and The Chapter House, an Indigenous exhibition and community space.

Sharen is the only girl in a family of boys and draws her inspiration and motivation from her parents and family.  She is especially thankful to the matriarchs and women in her life who have paved the way since time immemorial in their relentless advocacy and leadership for Native people.  In her free time, you can catch her on the powwow trail, basketball court, in the mountains, or hopefully on the beach.