We are a collective of Indigenous organizers of the Great Plains working to resist and Indigenize colonial institutions, ideologies and behaviors. Our homes are located in the vast grassland of Turtle Island, situated between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River and stretching from the Northern Tundra to the Gulf of Mexico.
Christine Nobiss, Plains Cree/Saulteaux
Co-Chair & Founder
Christine Nobiss is Plains Cree/Saulteaux of the George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Founder of Indigenous Iowa (now Great Plains Action Society), Little Creek Camp, and Decolonizer with Seeding Sovereignty, she lives a busy life organizing in Iowa and around the country. She is also a speaker, writer, artist and movement mentor in Iowa, and across the nation. She believes that environmental and social justice work are inextricably linked and change will only happen when we dismantle corrupt political and economic systems and rebuild them with a decolonized worldview. Christine graduated from the University of Iowa with a Masters Degree in Religious Studies (with a focus on Native American Religion and Culture) and a Graduate Minor in American Indian Native Studies. She fights for a better future for her two small children.
Trisha Cax-Sep-Gu-Wiga Etringer, Ho-Chunk
Co-Chair & Outreach Coordinator
Trisha Etringer is an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation who grew up in Elk Run Heights, IA and currently resides in Sioux City, IA. Trisha recently graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her BA in Psychology and minor in Mental Health. Her goal is to obtain an M.D. with an emphasis on Adolescent Psychiatry. The long-term goal is to work within Indigenous communities who suffer from high rates of suicide, alcoholism, depression, and historical trauma.
Trisha possesses an array of skills such as videography, photography, and drone operating skills. Trisha is a single mother of four children. She hopes to raise awareness about various issues that parallel with other indigenous communities such as #MMIR, extractive fossil fuel projects, and addiction.
Jessica Engelking, Anishinaabe
Social Media Correspondent/Specialist
Jessica Engelking is Anishinaabe; her mother an enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe. She has a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota, Morris; where she made us of the university’s American Indian Tuition Waiver. As an undergraduate, she was active in environmental and social justice organizations. Jessica received her master’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Iowa. Her research interests included the philosophy of fiction, metaphysics, and logic. While in Iowa, she became involved in the efforts to protect the land and water. She continues to work with Indigenous I.O.W.A. from her residence in Minnesota.
Lance Foster, Iowa
Lance M. Foster (Irogre: Finds What is Sought, Bear Clan), b. 1960, is a member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. Raised in Montana, he received a B.A. in Anthropology and Native American studies from University of Montana as well as an M.A. in Anthropology and an M.L.A. in Landscape Architecture from Iowa State University. He’s an alumnus of the Institute of American Indian Arts. He was the Director of the Native Rights, Land and Culture division of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a Historical Landscape Architect for the National Park Service, and an archaeologist for the U.S. Forest Service. He taught at the University of Montana -Helena College of Technology. He currently serves his tribe as THPO (Tribal Historic Preservation Officer), consulting for the tribe on environmental and cultural compliance, founded the tribal museum, is an Ioway language advocate, and NAGPRA officer. He is the author of The Indians of Iowa (University of Iowa Press, 2009), has appeared in several cultural documentaries, and has other publications. An artist and educator, he resides with his wife in White Cloud, Kansas.