Our Emerging Leader Award is granted to applicants who demonstrate a deep commitment to addressing gender and sexual violence against Indigenous people, who are utilizing their studies to lead ongoing efforts to raise awareness, support survivors, or prevent future violence. Each Emerging Leader Award recipient is given a $500 honorarium.
Maka is an Indigenous author, campaigner, scholar, storyteller, poet, and ceremonial performer from southeast Alaska. Of Tlingit (Łingit), Mohawk, Filipina, and Canadian Kanien'kehá:ka decent, she was born in Anchorage and is from Yakutat, Alaska of the Raven moiety, Copper River Clan, House of the Owl. Her Tlingit name is Keixé Yaxtí meaning “Morning Star.”
Maka resides in Anchorage, Alaska, where she dedicates her personal and professional time to environmental and social advocacy on behalf of Indigenous and non-indigenous youth and women. She raises awareness on topics such as MMIW, social justice and Indigenous rights through poetry, fashion, photography, and writing on mediums such as Instagram and guest writing for Teen Vogue. She is finishing up her Masters of Public Health at the University of Alaska Anchorage.