Michaela Madrid is an enrolled member of the Lower Brule Lakota Sioux Tribe. She was born in Pierre, South Dakota, and also lived in White River, Martin, and Spearfish. Michaela moved to the Pacific Northwest to accept an internship with the U.S. Department of Interior, Indian Affairs - Office of Self Governance Northwest Field office after having interned in their Washington, DC headquarters in 2015. She went to Black Hills State University for her bachelor's in Political Science and Sociology. She graduated from Portland State University with a Master’s in Public Policy, specializing in intergovernmental relations with Tribal Governments. Prior to working at SBI, Michaela served as the Program Coordinator for the Institute for Tribal Government and as an Energy and Water Policy Associate for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.
Michaela first started researching MMIWG2S as an undergraduate student in 2015 and has written on the issue in nearly every course during her graduate program. She served on the Oregon State Police's Missing and Murdered Native American People Taskforce as part of her Master's thesis project. As one of the few Native American Taskforce members, Michaela helped educate the Taskforce on culturally appropriate research methods and provided recommendations to make future processes more trauma-informed. Additionally, Michaela was an active member of the MMIWpdx Planning Committee in 2019 and 2020 where she worked with a group of community members and the City of Portland to put on an annual MMIW Awareness Week in Portland, Oregon during the week of May 5th.
Michaela is a passionate advocate interested in combining traditional cultural values and governance strategies to shape policy that will improve the everyday lives of Indigenous people.