News & Views

Indigenous Leaders Spotlight: Meet Fawn Sharp


Photo credit: Indian Country Today

“Oftentimes, I think about my journey and my responsibility to the 3,000 people of the Quinault Nation…Holding public office means you have a sacred responsibility to honor the ones who spent their lifetimes and tremendous energy and resources to advance a nation.”

– Fawn Sharp, Public Servant and Fierce Indigenous Rights Advocate

Fawn Sharp is one of four Indigenous Leaders selected to participate in the first cohort of The Christensen Fund’s Indigenous Leaders Program for her work in serving Indigenous communities as a public servant.

Born in Aberdeen, Washington, President Sharp is a citizen of the Quinault Indian Nation, a “climate refugee” Tribe that is urgently relocating its ancestral coastal villages upland due to catastrophic flooding caused by sea level rise.

President Sharp currently serves as the 23rd President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native tribal government organization in the country. President Sharp is also the current Vice President of the Quinault Indian Nation in Taholah, Washington, after being a five-term past-President. As a former past-President, she fought for the Quinault Nation’s economic growth while upholding their traditions of civil rights activism, public advocacy, and environmental protection.

She has previously served as a human rights attorney and in several state appointments. In 2021, she became the first elected Tribal leader to officially represent the United States of America on the international stage at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26).

Her work positions her to advocate for policies that serve the interests of tribal governments and communities throughout the United States.

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