2022 Summer Associates

Ashley Miles

Ashley Miles is an enrolled member of Santa Anna Pueblo in Bernalillo New Mexico and part Hopi from a tribe in Monkopi Arizona. Ashley is attending the University of Colorado Denver double majoring in Biology and Business Management. She is also working on a certificate for Environmental Stewardships for Indigenous Lands (ESIL) which involves training in the protection of natural resources and building abilities to be a liaison between indigenous peoples and the western world. Her recent research/internship was in analyzing indigenous S. Korean people’s sustainability practices and comparing their traditional knowledge to that of Native Americans as part of ESIL. Part of the research was identifying environmental issues while connecting to indigenous knowledge in order to collect knowledge as a liaison and support resolutions.

Ashley’s hobbies include sewing, cooking, working out as well as arts and crafts.

Fellowship Goals: To further knowledge of sustainable practices in renewable energy as well as to identify scientific techniques and methods done using solar-powered and biomass to produce energy.

David Waybenais

David is an enrolled tribal member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians from Red Lake, Minnesota,
and a member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska from Macy, Nebraska.

David moved back and forth between the two nations until he established roots on the Leech Lake Reservation and attended Cass Lake-Bena public school where he graduated in 2011.

David holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Haskell Indian Nations University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from Bemidji State University.

David is currently the environmental health specialist for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe where he
continues to expand on his passion for community health and traditional values.
In his free time, David enjoys playing golf, traveling, dancing at powwows, practicing the piano, and swimming.

Jalen Smallcanyon

Jalen is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation from Arizona/New Mexico and attends Dine College, a tribal college in the Navajo Nations. She attended higher education at Colorado State University, then took a break from school. She is seeking her Associate’s degree in Dine Studies. Jalen’s goal is the revitalization of Navajo culture and Dine Language; she wants to contribute back to her tribal nation. She is continuing her education, so she may return back to the Navajo Nation and her people to improve their communities. She wants to create a better environment for Navajo youth to learn and grow in.

Jalen enjoys cooking healthy meals, she is always looking for ways to improve her cooking and enjoys cooking recipes from a cook. She enjoys reading books in her free time, she enjoys reading books from indigenous writers and poets.  Include any hobbies and/or talents or favorite things you like to do. She enjoys being supportive of others’ goals and their passions, she loves to provide cultural support as she relearns the Navajo culture. She enjoys spending time with her elders by helping them with their livestock or around the house.

She is serving the Associated Students of Dine College as Vice-President. Her goal is to improve student engagement on campus and motivate more students to pursue their goals. 

Nicole Shirley

Nicole Shirley currently lives in Flagstaff, Az. Her hometown is located in the Four Corners region of Arizona known as Kayenta, Az. Nicole is a member of the Sicangu Lakota of Rosebud, SD and Navajo Tribe of Kayenta, AZ.

Nicole’s educational journey has brought her to Tohono’odam Community
College where she has declared a major in Business Administration with a minor in Environmental Science.

The opportunities have been tremendously overwhelming since Nicole connected with the amazing instructors at TOCC. She hopes to engage in a successful career in Renewable Energy as TSAF has
opened a door for her to grow in this industry. Nicole’s interests are the entrepreneurship of renewable energy as she hopes to provide the same services to her community and the neighboring areas of Arizona.

During her free time, Nicole enjoys traveling with her family, beading, attending powwows, reading, cooking and baking.