Sikowis Nobiss, BA, MA
Founder & Executive Director
George Gordon First Nation
Home Base: Iowa City, IA
Sikowis (Christine Nobiss) is Plains Cree/Saulteaux of the George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. At 19 she began her life's work of uplifting Indigenous rights and voices when she got her first job at the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council in Fredericton, Canada during the Burnt Church Rebellion. Between 2010 and 2015, Sikowis attempted to work with various Indigenous folks in Iowa City to build a climate and environment organization but was unsuccessful. However, her goal to found such an organization became a reality in 2016 when she joined the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. This led her to co-found Little Creek Camp in February 2017, which transformed into Indigenous Iowa (later renamed Great Plains Action Society). From August 2017 to September 2020, she helped found the national influencer organization Seeding Sovereignty from the ground up. As her heart is with her people and the prairies, Sikowis returned to Great Plains Action Society where she can work at a grassroots level and a fully Indigenous-led organization.
Sikowis has a Masters Degree in Religious Studies and Graduate Minor in Native Studies from the University of Iowa. While attending the U of I from 2005-2008, she sat on many diversity and climate committees and was also the Chair of the U of I Native American Student Association. In 2021 she received the Impact Through Advocacy award from the Iowa Environmental Council. In June 2022, her dedication to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community earned GPAS the OneIowa Community Partnership Award. In March 2023, her work earned Great Plains Action Society recognition for being a women-led organization doing excellent work in the realm of sustainability from the Johnson County United Nations Association Chapter. Sikowis is also a commissioner on the Iowa City Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She also sits on the Midwest Environmental Justice Grant Advisory Committee, the Centering Equity in the Sustainable Building Sector Governance Team and the Just Transition Power Force as a guest expert working to reduce harmful practices in corporate procurement processes.
Sikowis is also a speaker, writer, and artist. She believes that environmental and social justice work are inextricably linked and change will only happen when we dismantle corrupt colonial-capitalist systems and rebuild them with a decolonized worldview. She fights for a better future for her two young children.