Native Americans in Philanthropy
Dawn Knickerbocker (She/Her/Hers/Kwe) belongs to the Anishinaabe people, is a citizen of White Earth Nation/ gaa waabaabiganikaag, enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe from the Ottertail Pillager Band of Indians. Dawn is an activist, advocate, organizational strategist, land and water defender, and a leader in the philanthropic sector. She believes that peace is not merely a distant goal but can be achieved within our lifetime through deeply connected and authentic relationships with the land and the people. Having spent over 20 years of her work life as a grass roots organizer on the front lines of earth-related matters, she now serves as the President of the Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition, co-leader at Yellow Springs Climate Action, and is the Vice President of External Engagement at Native Americans in Philanthropy.
Dawn spent the majority of her career working in nonprofit leadership and in practice of reciprocity within philanthropy. She worked as a grant-maker in Washington State when she designed and implemented Spokane Arts Grant Awards (SAGA) that serves over a million people. Dawn is the former elected Chair of the Advisory Commission on Diversity for the most diverse city in the State of Washington, Renton. She is a published nonfiction writer, poet, public speaker, columnist, and the 2020 Martin Luther King Drum Major for Justice Award recipient. Dawn holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Whitworth University, completed graduate work in social impact from Claremont Lincoln University, and a master’s in arts in human rights practice from University of Arizona. Her latest anthology is titled: NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC: Stories of Hope and Resilience. Dawn resides in Yellow Springs, Ohio with her husband and four sons.