The future of snowsports is one that is diverse, welcoming, equitable, and inclusive. But it won't happen on its own; we must create it.
That's why we've teamed up with Deenaalee Hodgdon, a member of our Ambassador team and the Creator and Host of On The Land Media, to create a scholarship for Indigenous communities to access avalanche training and backcountry skiing and riding.
Help us congratulate the first cohort of recipients who will receive $1000 to expand and support their backcountry experience + a pair of Coalition Snow skis or a snowboard + an Ortovox beacon, shovel, and probe pack. They have been chosen for their exceptional leadership and ability to further the mission of the scholarship.
- Catherine A Jager, She/Her, Citizen Potawatomi
- Bonn Baudelaire, They/Them, Cocopah
- Geneva Mayall, She/Her, Citizen Potawatomi
- Nahanni McKay, She/Her, Métis
- Kimberly Ayek, She/Her, Inuqiaq/Sugpiaq
This scholarship is a way for all of us who occupy and recreate on this land to express our gratitude toward the Indigenous people who have protected and cared for our land for generations and work toward creating equity in snowsports.
Want to help support the Indigenous Backcountry Scholarship? Click here.
Bosho. Catherine Jager ndeshnekas. Oregon Ndotth bya. My name is Catherine Jager. I am an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Latina, and of German descent. Currently, I work as a teacher on a special assignment supporting the implementation of Tribal History/Shared History and Ethnic Studies standards in Social Studies. I currently live on the occupied traditional homelands of the Tualatin Kalapuya, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tumwater, Molalla, bands of the Chinook, and many other indigenous nations of the Columbia River. I am looking forward to this opportunity to not just share what I learn with others but to build reciprocal relationships with other people and the land we are on.
Bonnabella Baudelaire (they/them) is a trans, disabled activist for Black liberation and Indigenous sovereignty through establishing systems of care and mutual aid with a particular focus on unsheltered relative support. Through their work with Kinlani Mutual Aid, they organize support to unhoused folks during the coldest months of the year so our relatives have the gear they need to stay alive. They are a co-host on Indigenous Action's podcast where they dig deep into the critical issues impacting our communities today. Based on personal experiences of being a formerly incarcerated and fostered Border Native, Bonn shares insights and raises awareness on state sactioned family separation, cultural genocide, and sexual violence in the so-called "US." Their (re)connection to the land gives them the healing and motivation necessary to carry out their life's passions.
Geneva Mayall ndezhnekas, Bodéwadmi ndaw, Neshnabe ndaw.
My name is Geneva, I am Potawatomi, I am Indian. I am an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, who's ancestors originally resided and moved throughout the Great Lakes region before being displaced to a reservation in Shawnee, Oklahoma. While never living on the reservation, I have found connection to my culture and ancestors through learning the native language of the Neshnabek, storytelling, beading, and most importantly connecting to the natural world. I acknowledge the land I'm on through trail running, mountain biking, skiing, and teaching environmental education and traditional ecological knowledge to my students. Currently I reside on the original lands of the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Northern Paiute where outdoor recreation is a common denominator amongst the community. I grew up learning to love and respect the land from my parents and had the privilege to afford and learn to ski from my father. Skiing is how I learned to connect my breath with the cold air and gonkiwen (snow), it's where I learned to manage fear and self doubt, and it's where I grow and connect. It is also a place that I have enjoyed helping others grow and hope to continue to mentor and support community members in the sport, teaching them to be safe in the backcountry and how to connect ourselves to the land. I give back to the land by showing people what it looks like to live in reciprocity, to slow down, to say thank you for the gifts that segmekwé (mother earth) provides us: self awareness, growth, and connection.
Nahanni is a Metis skier, artist, and photographer from Treaty 7 Territory.
Nahanni comes from a family of mountain guides, who had her on skis at the ripe age of two. She was introduced to the backcountry at a young age. Out there it felt like there were no rules and most importantly no one to tell her that she wasn’t good enough. That’s where her love of the outdoors flourished.
Nahanni has spent most of her life working on and off in the outdoor industry. Unfortunately, she never felt like a valued team member. Nahanni often has a different idea of what it’s all about. She doesn't think it should be about showcasing “the best” athletes. Nahanni thinks it should be about highlighting the people who are challenging the very idea of what we understand as “mountain culture”.
One of Nahanni’s personal goals as an artist and Metis person is to see more Indigenous representation in the outdoor community.
Nahanni currently resides in her hometown of Banff, Alberta working as a full time artist and part-time ski coach.
Kimberly is an Alaska Native of Inupiaq and Alutiiq decent. She was born and raised in Anchorage and is currently wrapping up her last year at Alaska Pacific University where she is earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Outdoor Studies with a concentration in Adventure Therapy. She works as a lead instructor for a local nonprofit, Onward and Upward, where she primarily works with young people in helping them nurture their relationship with nature. In her free time you can find her on the slopes snowboarding, on trail with her beloved dog Larry or working on her latest beading project.