Our staff at MIGIZI are dedicated to the success and well-being of our young Native people. We work hard for our community with years of experience and innovative ideas.
Danielle is a citizen of Red Lake Nation and was born in Minneapolis, MN. Also known as Zequan Equay (Spring Lady), Danielle is a mother of four boys and a grandmother of six.
Currently serving as MIGIZI's administrative assistant, Danielle is the first point of contact for any and all inquiries about our organization. She graduated from Normandale College with a degree in Human Services and is continuing her education, working towards a Master's Degree in Social Work. She is a certified Suicide Prevention Counselor with a passion for helping others. Danielle's interests are in education, equity, and inclusion.
She currently resides in Minneapolis and loves to travel, try new foods, and meet new people. Her favorite activities include spending time with her grandchildren and being a connoisseur of films.
Academic Support Specialist
Adele is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. She was born and raised in South Minneapolis and has a background in education and a passion for languages including Dakota and French. Adele taught Dakota at the Bloomington Dakota Language Camp in Summer 2021. She previously worked as an Employment Counselor and is looking forward to connecting with the community and helping people discover their futures.
In her free time she enjoys watching movies, tv and extensive reading.
Lead Media Instructor
Binesikwe Means was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is an enrolled citizen of the Oglala Lakota Tribe in Pine Ridge, South Dakota and a descendant of the White Earth Nation . Her name Binesikwe (Bi-Nay-See-Kway) is from the Ojibwe language meaning “Thunderbird Woman ''. Binesikwe has a deep love of storytelling because it is who we are as indigenous peoples, it's how we passed on our traditions and languages for generations. She is passionate about creating the next generation of storytellers. She has worked for MIGIZI for five years as Lead Media Instructor for First Person Productions, a youth led social enterprise that produces videos, design work and social media campaigns for small businesses and nonprofits.
Binesikwe was recognized for her hard work, dedication, and mentorship as Step Up's Supervisor of the Year for 2022. This prestigious award is given to supervisors who have gone above and beyond to provide an exceptional experience for their Step Up interns, who nominate deserving supervisors. Binesikwe’s mentorship and dedication shows her commitment to being youth-centered and equity driven. She develops incredible relationships and creates safer spaces for these talented students. She is committed to connecting the students to the community and fostering the next generation of storytellers. Binesikwe empowers these students by allowing them the space and opportunity to become their authentic selves. She has continually nurtured the development of American Indian youth.
Youth Development Specialist
Bree “Waabinesiik” Green is a citizen of the Red Lake Nation of Anishinaabe and was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Bree also identifies as a Two-Spirit woman and is on a continuous journey to learn about herself and her identity. Bree also graduated from South High School in 2017 through the All Nations Program. She has studied and practiced visual arts since she was a child and started to develop her own style as she grew into a teenager and into her adulthood. Bree specializes in drawing, community murals and digital art. Bree is passionate about using art as a tool to bring community together, especially for youth.
In her free time, Bree enjoys going on adventures, writing poetry, listening to music and spending time with her friends and family.
Tedi Grey Owl
Academic Internship Specialist
Tedi Grey Owl is a citizen of the Haudensaunee Seneca Nation - Heron Clan. Tedi is currently the Academic Intern Specialist for MIGIZI. Tedi has worked to provide academic and cultural support for Indigenous students in urban and suburban school districts in the Greater-Minneapolis & St. Paul area for three decades.
Development & Operations Manager
Abby (she/her/hers) graduated from Iowa State University in 2015 with her bachelor's degree in psychology and is currently working on her Master's Degree in Applied Analytics from Columbia University. Prior to joining MIGIZI, Abby worked as a database manager and prospect researcher for organizations like Prairie Rivers of Iowa, Ball State University Foundation, and Fairview Foundation. While living in Indiana, Abby co-founded a county chapter of Indivisible and served as an advisory board member for an LGBTQ+ youth group. She is passionate about philanthropy and social justice.
Abby lives in East Saint Paul with her spouse, 3 fur babies, and 5 chickens. She loves gardening, crafting, traveling, and reading. Abby has a black belt in taekwondo, adores elephants, and dreams of visiting Egypt.
Amanda Dionne is a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. She grew up in the Twin Cities and is a proud mother of two. Amanda joins MIGIZI from her most recent position as Director of Engagement at Minneapolis Public Schools where she was responsible for leading a team of Engagement, Education, and Outreach Specialists in multiple community stakeholder initiatives.
“I am honored to be joining the dedicated team at MIGIZI to support the 40+ year legacy of providing a strong circle of support that nurtures the educational, social, economic and cultural development of American Indian youth. Growing up in the Twin Cities I saw and understood the vital role MIGIZI has served for my community. My mother was a participant in the program which helped her gain a strong foundation of skills that has followed her throughout her career.”
Amanda brings experience in strategic planning, program development and evaluation and will support MIGIZI in realizing the 3-5 year strategic plan that has recently been finalized.
Prior to joining MIGIZI in November 2018, Kelly served as founding President and CEO of the Tiwahe Foundation for seven years, Tiwahe is an American Indian community foundation which focuses on providing micro grants to American Indian communities, strengthening leadership initiatives and network building. During her 20 years of philanthropy and non-profit work, Kelly has worked with the Jewish Community Foundation, The Family Partnership, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, and New Foundations – a Project for Pride in Living program. Kelly currently serves on the Saint Paul Foundation Community Impact Grants Committee, The Family Partnership Board of Directors and other projects that benefit American Indian Woman and youth. She holds a M.A. degree in Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary’s University and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Minnesota. Kelly currently lives in NE Minneapolis with her husband and two children.
Program & Projects Coordinator
Jenelle is originally from Colorado, and part of a large family. She is the second youngest of five kids and is a triplet! She came to the midwest to attend the University of Minnesota, where she graduated in 2021 with her bachelor's in Business Marketing and Education. While at the U of M, Jenelle competed as a collegiate diver on the University’s swimming and diving team! While attending school, she worked at a financial firm before discovering that her true passion lay in the natural sciences. Since then, she has made the exciting decision to pursue a degree in biology, where she will be focusing on ecology and conservation.
Jenelle has always been deeply passionate about environmental endeavors and climate justice. In particular, she strives to honor the planet by improving her understanding of environmental inequality, biodiversity and climate issues, social justice, and the ecological impacts humans have on the Earth and ways to combat this. While pursuing a degree and career in science, she continues to place social justice in the center of climate activism and sustainability practices. Jenelle is extremely excited to be co-leading the Green Jobs Pathway at MIGIZI this summer, and work with Native youth to produce media content concerning the Solar on Schools project, and the powerful benefits of solar energy.
Marketing & Communications Manager
Mishaila Bowman was born and raised in South Minneapolis and is a descendant of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (Dakota). She got her B.A from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in American Indian Studies and Environmental Sustainability. For a number of years, she served as the Communications & Cultural Programs Coordinator for Lower Phalen Creek Project where she was responsible for developing the style guide, brand identity, social media presence and cultural storytelling for the newly turned Native-led environmental nonprofit.
In Mishaila's free time she is passionate about environmental justice, protecting our local sacred sites, working with plant medicines, and storytelling through art and graphic design.