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Creating New Traditions

Indigenous Backcountry Scholarship

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 Coalition Snow Ambassador and the Creator and Host of On The Land Media, to create a scholarship for Indigenous communities to increase their access to avalanche training and backcountry skiing and riding.

Meet the 2022/23 Receipients

Cera Hassinan She/HerCrow Creek Sioux-Hunkpati Dakota

Cera currently resides on Coast Salish lands also known as Seattle and is a PhD candidate at the University of Washington. She builds upon her family’s legacy and supports Native communities as a neuroscience researcher. Cera promotes Indigenous traditions of learning and education in the lab and classroom. Outside of the lab, Cera finds new ways to connect to the land whether that be hiking, biking, or skiing.

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Joelle Johnston, She/Her, Squamish Nation

Joelle started snowboarding with the First Nation Snowboard team and was given the opportunity to compete in boarder cross races. As a way to give back to the First Nation Snowboard team, Joelle has dedicated her winters to coaching and instructing the youth along the sea to sky. She has since continued her love of snowboarding and started to venture out into the backcountry. She has the goal of providing the youth the opportunity to learn about the backcountry and explore their territory.

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Saskia Livingstone, She/Her, Métis

Growing up I didn’t participate in any mountain sports, but as a young adult I learned to climb and ski thanks to some amazing friends and mentors. As an Indigenous woman and a member of the outdoor community, it is isolating to be underrepresented in the spaces that bring me so much joy. I want to see more representation of BIPOC individuals and women in these spaces and I want to help make this become a reality.

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Stephanie Hayes, she/them, Klallam/Coast Salish

Stephanie now lives in Alaska on Lingit aaní studying marine biology and helping with language preservation of the Tlingit and Coast Salish peoples in conjunction with the University of Alaska Southeast. Her favorite community activity is to take people and school groups on rainforest walks and tide pool explorations, sharing knowledge and stories of the natural world around them.

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Taylor Bennett-Begaye, She/Her, Diné Citizen

Learning how to snowboard in her mid-twenties, Taylor first noticed the amount of joy it brought her but it didn’t take long for her to notice the lack of inclusivity on the mountain for the BIPOC community, especially in Denver. However, having embraced “being comfortable being uncomfortable,” it can be difficult to handle that weight when riding when you are not represented. Taylor’s overall goal is to create and foster a community to lower the barrier for Indigenous riders of all levels along with challenging herself to grow as a rider and enter the backcountry.

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Meet the 2021 Recipients

Kimberly Ayek, She/Her, Inuqiaq/Sugpiaq

Kim 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.

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Bonn Baudelaire, They/Them, Cocopah

Bonn 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. Their (re)connection to the land gives them the healing and motivation necessary to carry out their life's passions.

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Catherine A Jager, She/Her, Citizen Potawatomi

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 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.

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Geneva Mayall, She/Her, Citizen Potawatomi

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. 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. 

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Nahanni McKay, She/Her, Métis

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.

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LISTEN IN

A CONVERSATION WITH THE 2021 RECIPIENTS

Juicy Bits: Belonging & Reclaiming

Get ready for some real talk about belonging in snowsports, Land Back, inclusion and exclusion, and finding joy in the mountains. 

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SHOP SKIDA x ON THE LAND

100% of proceeds benefit the Indigenous Backcountry Scholarship

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