STAFF

Native Hope is made up of a diverse team of Native and Non-Natives working together to dismantle barriers and bring hope and healing through storytelling.

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Jennifer Long

Executive Director

Jennifer Long, enrolled member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe [Kul Wicasa Oyate], joins Native Hope after working at St. Joseph’s Indian School for 12 years. Her experience lies in online and direct mail marketing in addition to project management. It is only fitting for Jen to lead the Native Hope team as she has been involved with the company since its inception. Her understanding of the issues facing Native America helped to pave way for our messaging and mission. As her friend once said, “hope may be an overused word but an underused concept.” My Hope: My Native Hope is to bring hope and healing to Native Americans throughout the country while providing opportunities and encouraging independence.

Kim Kontz

Kim Kontz

Office Manager

Kim co-owned and co-operated a small business for many years. Her business background provides Native Hope with solid leadership and organization. The variety in her job excites Kim as every day brings a new challenge. She considers it an honor to be part of such a great team. My Hope: My Hope is that Native Americans get inspired by the good work and inspirational stories that we share at Native Hope. I want them to know that they can also do whatever inspires them!

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Trista Medicine Crow

Community Relations Coordinator

Trista Gonzales, a member of the Hunkpati Oyate on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Hehaka Hehani Winyan, “Morning Elk Woman,” is Trista’s spirit name given to her by a grandmother [Unci] in ceremony. Before working at Native Hope, Trista spent 2 years as the Program Director of the Suicide Prevention Program in Fort Thompson, South Dakota. Along with studying for a degree in Human Services, Trista brings personal knowledge of Native Culture and the Dakota Way of Life to the Native Hope team, valuable assets to restoring hope in Indian Country. Her passion for making a difference keeps the best interests of her community as well as fellow indigenous peoples close to her heart. My Hope: My Hope is to inspire Native youth and adults to be the honorable, inspirational, humble leaders they are. I hope to help them find the power within themselves and show them how to use it to make great changes for the betterment of Indian Country. “We all have a power, and together, our powers are the answer to saving our way of life.”

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Trisha Burke

Editorial Director

Trisha enters her fifth year at Native Hope with a continued belief in its mission to empower young Native Americans to be the best version of themselves. Prior to Native Hope, she taught English (24 years) and directed theatre (29 years). Her experience as a literature/composition instructor and a theatrical director, along with her passion for writing, afford Trisha a unique perspective as editorial director. Authentic storytelling remains core to her ideals as a professional. My Hope: Since childhood, I have held kindness and equity as key ideals. My hope is to provide meaningful, positive storytelling allows Native people to experience the respect and dignity they deserve.

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Mark Lewis

Producer

Mark Lewis, a tribal member of both the Gila River and Sac and Fox Nations, spent 15 years as a professional photographer. In 2015, Mark transitioned to filmmaking with the documentary Legacy. The awarding-winning film has played festivals including Taos, Phoenix, and NMWIF, and enjoyed distribution with PBS and Vision Maker Media. Originally from Arizona, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and leads Native Hope’s media team, which recently completed its first season of the Native Hope Podcast. As a filmmaker, Mark strives to produce films of all genres to create awareness about the beauty and realities of Indian Country. My Hope: My hope is to inspire Native Americans to use film and other media to bring nations, people, and communities closer together for a brighter future.