Strengthening Native American Communities & Economies
Tawny is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota (Rosebud Sioux) Tribe, and was born and raised on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. She joined First Nations Development Institute as a program officer in June 2014. As a member of First Nations’ Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI) team, she works with other staff members on projects that aim to strengthen local food-system control; increase access to local, healthy and traditional foods; decrease food insecurity and food deserts; expand knowledge of the linkages between foods and Native cultures; and/or contribute to tribal economic growth and development of entrepreneurially-related food ventures. As a program officer at First Nations, she became certified as a ToPs facilitator and a trainer in the Building Native Communities: Financial Skills for Families curriculum.
Prior to joining First Nations, Tawny spent over a decade in various roles in the finance industry as a licensed mortgage broker, banker and sales manager. She received her Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in May of 2013, with a concentration in Environmental Policy, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Dakota in 2002, with a major in Business Administration and a minor in American Indian Studies. She resides with her family in Denver, Colorado, and in her spare time enjoys short walks along the creek.