Jaylyn Gough is from the Navajo Tribe in New Mexico. Native Womens Wilderness was created out of the frustration of the lack women of color, let alone a Native Woman, represented in the outdoor industries. Her desire is for NWW to be a platform for Native voices, a place to express the love and passion for the Wild, and to provide education of the ancestral lands we all love to explore. Jaylyn has been a guide, a mountain bike race coordinator for eight years, and an avid mountain climber, hiker, mountain biker, climber, and a landscape photographer. You can always find her exploring the Wild with her camera in hand!
Erynne is from the Saulteaux-Cree Métis. She has worked with diverse projects which focus on community health, wellness and Indigenous knowledge in response to climate change. She is the Founder of Indigenous Womxn Climb created to inspire Indigenous communities into experiences of active and healthy life-styles on and with the Land, as well as educate non-Indigenous outdoor communities in themes such as: cultural protocol, permission to access Land, Indigenous land-based knowledge systems and dynamics of privilege and power within outdoor sports. As a mixed Indigenous person (Saulteaux-Cree Métis, Filipina, Irish and Scottish), Erynne embodies a light-skin privileged experience which she believes makes her accountable to educating non-Indigenous communities, including her own relatives, about the living legacies of colonialism in our lives and the conditions necessary to transcend colonial relationships and embody vibrant Indigenous leadership in ALL spaces.
Pınar is a living confluence of Huanca, Turkic & Chinese lineages. The art of belonging and the gift of the liminal informs their work as a genderqueer nature-connection mentor and vision fast guide. As an indigenous futurist, they root for those in our communities who are scarred, those brilliant survivors reshaping a narrative of Belonging. They’re also here to represent and uplift the in-betweeners in our native communities who have a lineage of place-based queerness that’s ancient and vitally emergent. Pınar is the co-founder of Queer Nature, an organization that works on exploring decolonial queer futurism through natural history and ancestral, survival, and tactical skills. Pronouns: they, them, theirs
Verna is from the Navajo Tribe, in the Four Corners area of New Mexico. As a child, she remembers exploring the sandy rocky canyons with endless sagebrush around her. As she got older, she clung her childhood experiences to help her explore her current residency of Minneapolis. She is the Founder of Native_Women_Running. NWR was created under the frustration of lack of Native Women represented in the running world, running websites, blogs, social media accounts, and products. She wants to show Native Women can do anything that other runners do. She hopes this will be a springboard to show her ultra running journey as well. Running has always been good for her physically but running in nature has brought her peace. You can find her running the trails in preparation for a 50k race!
Athlete ambassador & Marketing manager
Sarah Ortegon is from the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes from the Wind River Reservation. She resides in Denver, CO and is the office manager for Smith & Shellenberger, LLC a Native American owned and operated law firm that focuses on Tribal Law, Family Law and Criminal Law. Ortegon was crowned Miss Native American, USA in 2013 and has since then dedicated herself to traveling around the world and country, speaking to the youth and encouraging them to pursue their dreams. Her Alaska expedition taken through NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) taught her the importance of a clean environment that offers support for the individuals residing on lands that have been around long before human contact. She has a passion for acting, art, dancing and running. She hopes to lead by example and to see the Earth start to thrive again during her lifetime.
Coordinating Director & Athlete Ambassador
Cali is from the Sičháŋǧu Lakȟóta Tribe from Rosebud, South Dakota. She resides in Denver and works as an Emergency Room Registered Nurse and hopes to spend more time at the Denver IHS as a volunteer RN with the goal of working directly with our Native Community. She’s an activist who brings awareness to native issues within Native and non-Native communities. By sharing her story, she hopes to bridge the gap between all Natives, including those like herself who are reconnecting with the culture as an adult.