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CLAIRE CHARLO

ADVOCATE

Claire Charlo is a member of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes and grew up on the Flathead Reservation. Claire was raised by parents ahead of their time, homeschooled and taught cultural lessons on medicinal plants, Salish language, beading, tanning deer hides for regalia and moccasin creation. Summers were spent at Agnes Vanderburg’s Cultural Camp, in Valley Creek, Arlee MT. Spiritual teachings, ceremony and song were incorporated with her relationship with land, plant, animal, insect, and aquatic relatives. These were all inspiration and helped create the foundation of someone determined to fight for justice. Deciding to leave home for a college education, Claire attended and graduated from Cornell College with a double bachelor in Ethnic and Gender Studies, and went on to obtain a juris doctorate from the University of Arizona School of Law. Claire returned to work for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes for the past fifteen years. For the last ten years, Claire worked as a Civil Advocate with the Tribal Defender’s Office. Claire has been working towards bringing awareness to MMIP issues through walks, vigils, art demonstrations and letter writing campaigns. Claire loves to spend her summers in the mountains, ethically harvesting berries and medicinal plants with her family. Claire beads, sews star quilts,and writes poetry/short articles for a local magazine. Claire is a Water and Land Defender and travels to resistance camps. To stay in balance, soul work is crucial for an organizer. Claire incorporates Indigenous spiritual teachings with somatics, art, song, breath work and movement.