endawnis Spears

endawnis Spears (Diné/ Ojibwe/ Chickasaw/ Choctaw) is the Co-Director of the Upstander Academy, and a founding member of the Akomawt Educational Initiative, an Indigenous education and interpretive consultancy for museums, K-12 schools, and colleges/universities.  

This year, endawnis is running to keep her seat on the local school board for a regional district in southern Rhode Island. This predominantly white school district includes the Narragansett Indian Tribal community where generations of Narragansett tribal citizens have attended, including, now, her children. Recently, the school board has been a politically contentious space where the underlying dynamics of settler colonialism are now being played out. endawnis and her community are navigating a divided civic landscape and working to repair and strengthen relationships across diverse experiences and political allegiances for the sake of the generations to come.

Originally from Camp Verde, Arizona, she lives in Hope Valley, Rhode Island with her husband and four children, who are enrolled citizens of the Narragansett Indian Tribe.  She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Denver and has worked for the Heard Museum, Museum of Northern Arizona, Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center and is the 2021-2023 Tribal Community Member in Residence at Brown University. 

Speaker: Inspiring Stories: Election 2022 – Where Do We Go From Here?